NEIGHBORHOOD GARDEN FOR SEPTEMBER 2, 2006
DO’S AND DON’TS FOR FALL
BY GEORGE EDGAR
It has been two
and one-half years since Gladys and I started writing these articles.
The first one appeared on March 6, 2004. A year later a paper published
in Grand Island began carrying our writings. My high school English
teacher lives here in Lincoln and I am tempted to send him one of my
articles for grading. I hope I would get a better grade now than I did
in high school in 1950.
I have had a
number of people say they read our articles every week, and some have
even told us that they cut them out and file them for reference.
Your support and encouragement is greatly appreciated. If you
have suggestions as to topics or people to contact to write a guest
article, please let us know.
today will be a little different than previous writings.
I want to summarize some of the suggestions we have given you
over the past two and one-half years. I have put them under, DO
this fall and DO NOT
do this fall but wait until winter or next spring.
YEAR TO REMEMBER:
get out a notebook and write down what worked and what didn’t. What flowers really bloomed this year for you, and what were
your disasters? Write it
down. What varieties of vegetables did well and what didn’t? Write it
down. I have a hard time remembering in the spring which tomatoes I
planted where last year and which ones did really good. You also might
want to write down where you got a particular seed or plant so you can
go back next year. Did you plant a new shrub or tree this year? Write
down the kind of tree or shrub, the cultivar, and where purchased.
The first thing
to DO this fall is to clean
up and discard old and diseased leaves and foliage.
Insects and diseases overwinter in old leaves and stems left in
the garden. Iris borers
overwinter in the old dead leaves. Blackspot can overwinter in the dead
rose leaves and foliage left in the bed. DO NOT put any diseased leaves and plant material in your compost
where it can overwinter. For a healthy and productive garden next year,
clean up this fall.
spray those weeds in your lawn after the first light frost, especially
ground ivy, henbit, clover, dandelions, and other broadleaf weeds. You
will probably need two to three applications of a weed killer (“Trimec”,
“Weed Free Zone”, or “Weed-B-Gone II”). Next week I will have a
detailed article on “FALL WEED CONTROL”.
NOT worry about the crabgrass in your yard as it is an annual and
will die with the first hard frost.
Control it next spring with an application of Crabgrass Preventer
(pre-emergent). If you follow my “Lawn Care by Holidays”, the
pre-emergent goes on about Arbor Day which is the last part of April. DO
NOT put the pre-emergent on too early as it has a residual of only
about 60 to 90 days, depending upon which product you use.
DO put on a second
application the first couple weeks in June to control late germinating
weeds like foxtail and spurge.
put on a fall fertilizer about Labor Day and a winter fertilizer
sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving. If you fertilize your lawn
only once or twice a year, these two are the most important. The more
you fertilize in the spring, the more likely you will have disease and
insect problems later in the summer. DO
NOT put the winter fertilizer on too early or you will loose the
effectiveness of the special winterizer formulation.
NOT fertilize trees,
shrubs, roses, perennials, and pond plants after the middle of August.
The plants need to begin getting ready to go dormant, not put on new
growth. Any new growth produced will probably not mature and harden off,
and thus winter kill if we have a normal winter. DO
fertilize in the spring. Tree spikes are not recommended as they
fertilize only a small area. Trees in the middle of a yard do not
usually need any extra fertilization as they are getting more than
enough from the lawn fertilizer.
DO NOT prune most
spring blooming shrubs such as lilac, forsythia, bridal wreath spirea,
and flowering almond in the fall. If you prune these shrubs now you will
be cutting off the flowers for next year. Prune these and most other
spring blooming shrubs, right after they bloom. Lilac, Forsythia and
Bridal Wreath Spirea are pruned by taking out the biggest, oldest canes
all the way to the ground. Remove about 1/4th to 1/3rd
of the total number of canes. This will reduce the height of the plant
and open it up. This method also helps to control insect damage and
borers as they like the old, weak canes. Also by pruning you have a new
shrub every 3 to 4 years and more flowering throughout the shrub, not
just on top.
and shrubs need very little pruning.
Remove only dead wood in the spring. Your Butterfly Bush may be
pruned this fall after it goes dormant, or you can wait and see what
winter kills and prune next spring. Your hybrid tea, grandiflora, Old
English (David Austin), and floribunda roses bloom on new wood so they
can be pruned after a couple hard freezes (temperatures in the lower
20’s or colder). Only prune enough so they do not whip in the wind. DO NOT prune most climbing roses as they bloom on old wood. Pruning
now will remove flowers for next year.
Next spring prune only those canes that winter killed.
DO NOT prune fruit
trees, most deciduous trees (ones that lose their leaves in the fall),
and most conifers (evergreen) trees and shrubs after the first week in
August. Pruning stimulates new growth and this new growth will not
mature and harden off before winter so will probably winter kill.
Deciduous trees and shrubs can be pruned after they have lost all their
leaves. The best time to prune fruit trees and deciduous trees is in
late February or early March.
(evergreen) can be pruned, if needed, after you are sure they have gone
dormant, which will be after a couple hard freezes (temps in the low
20’s). Pruned in mid-December the branches of conifers are good for
Christmas arrangements and wreaths and the tree will do better.
DO spray your indoor
plants with insecticidal soap or a contact insecticide containing
carbaryl (Sevin), permethrin (Eight), pyrethrins, or bifenthrin (Ortho
Max) before you bring them inside. Wait a day or so for the bugs to die
and drop off outside. DO use
“2% Systemic Insecticide” at the same time. This is a systemic insecticide that is put on the soil and
worked into the top inch, then watered in. Systemic means that the
chemical will go down into the soil and into the roots, and then up into
the plant. Insect eggs are in the soil and will hatch out after the
plant is brought indoors. The young insects will be killed when they
chew or suck on the foliage. Most systemic insecticides have a residual
of about 30 days so repeat applications all winter is needed.
DO follow label directions!!!
have a good week and take care of your garden and plants.