Continue to water your gardens and lawns! It is has been very dry this past month or so.
Enjoy those big juicy tomatoes you dreamed of in January!
Make notes about your garden. Did you try new vegetables and did some do better than others? Which varieties did you like and why? Make notes about your perennials and annuals too.
Start cleaning up the debris from your lawn and garden. Any diseased material should go in your trash; everything else can be placed in the compost.
Continue to turn your compost pile. Moisten it if needed. A handful of ‘working’ compost should feel like a wrung-out sponge.
Keep a sharp eye out for garden pests and treat immediately. Use insecticides wisely. Apply the proper product just when and where needed and use dosages according to the package directions. Our knowledgeable staff can assist in determining the problem and the most effective treatment.
Many four legged critters are looking for extra food to eat and store for winter now. Repellents are helpful. There are odor and taste types available. Be prepared to try more than one type and to alternate several kinds since animals can get used to a constant odor or taste and learn to ignore it.
Garden Mums, Rudbeckia, Butterfly Weed, Pansies, and Flowering Cabbage and Kale and many other fall plants are available to add some great fall color to your yard.
Birding in Your Backyard
Clean your bird feeders and bird baths on a regular basis to keep your backyard bird friends healthy.
Watch for fall migrant birds. Hummingbirds are still migrating; keep your hummer feeders up and filled with fresh nectar. Orioles are also congregating to begin their journey south.
Fall is the most important time to fertilize your lawn. Fertilize now and then again around Halloween.
Apply weed and feed to your lawn when grass is moist, such as after a rain or heavy dew.
Seed or sod bare spots in your lawn. The cooler temperatures and more rain make this a good time.
If your lawn is compacted, aerate your lawn before seeding this fall. Aerating allows water and air to reach the roots, reduces compaction, and improves your lawns’ overall health.
Be sure lawns get watered deeply once each week if we do not get rain. A 1 inch soaking in the morning once a week is better than lighter or more frequent watering.
Set your mower blade to a cutting height of about 3 inches. Mowing less frequently and leaving the grass a bit taller helps shade the grass roots, reducing the need for water. Mow again as soon as the grass reaches 4” tall. Never cut more than 1/3rd of the grass blade when mowing.
Setting your lawn mower to mulch and leaving the clippings (and mulched leaves) will add nutrients back to your lawn.
Keep lawn mower blades sharp so they cut the grass cleanly. Tearing grass makes it more susceptible to disease.
Vegetables & Annuals
Check out the great fall plants available at the Garden Center, including a wide selection of Garden Mums, several varieties of Flowering Cabbage and Kale, Rudbeckia, Asclepias, Coreopsis, Grasses and Pansies. Replacing tired annuals with fresh vibrant frost tolerant annuals now will ensure great color right through late fall and early winter.
Remove rotting fruit and leaf debris promptly from all gardens, especially your vegetable garden, to prevent disease and insect problems, and avoid attracting foraging ‘critters’.
Continue to remove dead flowers and seed heads from annuals to promote continuous blooming as long as the season permits.
Keep watering and fertilizing annuals. All container plants need to be watered on a regular basis.
Continue to pull weeds when they are small. This will save time and effort later. Small weeds are a great addition to your compost bin as a great source of moisture, Nitrogen and trace minerals.
Trees, Shrubs, Roses, & Perennials
Now is a good time to divide many of your perennials, especially those that bloom in spring and are going dormant now.
Fall is still a good time to plant. Choose fresh, healthy plants and provide them with adequate deep watering. Newly planted trees and shrubs should be watered deeply once or twice a week, more if necessary. A two inch layer of wood chip mulch beneath plants will keep soil temperature and moisture levels more even and promotes better root growth. Keep the mulch one or two inches away from the plant stems to avoid insect and disease problems; extend it beyond the width of the plant’s drip line.
Begin to leave spent flowers of perennials and roses to set seed now. This helps plants begin the slowdown needed for their winterizing process. Many seed heads can be left for interest and texture in the coming winter garden. Seeds and pods also provide winter food for birds.
Shrubs and trees herald cooler nights by putting on fall colors as they begin to store food for the winter’s rest. Walk your neighborhood parks and note those plants that appeal to you. Gardening can be a year round adventure if you take some time to explore and appreciate all of the wonderful possibilities out there.
Inspect house plants closely for insects and treat if necessary. Catching a small pest problem early can eliminate an infestation during the winter.
As soon as night temperatures are routinely in the low 50 s, bring indoor house plants that have ‘summered’ outdoors back inside the house. Treat for bugs, even if you don’t see any obvious pests.There are always ‘hitchhikers!
This would also be a good time to give them a good shower to wash off the dust and dirt that accumulated on the foliage from the last couple of months.
Be sure to reduce your fertilizing to every 2-4 weeks since the plants’ growth slows down during the fall and winter months.
If you have questions or problems, our helpful customer service representatives will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We want you to be a successful gardener with less work!