Buckets Of It...
We wanted rain and rain we got! What a deluge. Mother Nature
gave us several inches within a short
amount of time. Where did all of that water go? Unfortunately
most of it was run off. We had already received 2-3 inches from
Friday and Saturday so the ground was saturated. Kevin and I
went venturing out to get some pictures of the high waters that
swept through our area. Lots of water...moving fast. You have
got to see
such a beautiful day. I can feel a hint of fall in the air. Cool
mornings, mild days, gardening until you are exhausted. That was
me today. I was out for three hours. I could not pull myself
away. I was having way too much fun. I mowed, edged, trimmed and
boy does the lawn look magnificent. Have you noticed how the
lawns have greened up since we had a nice rain? It doesn't take
long once the temperatures cool down and the humidity drops.
Starting today and until the first frost I will try to achieve
as much as I can. Transplanting, planting shrubs, trees and
bulbs. I have a long list and I hope to get most of it
accomplished. My only wish is to have as many days like to today
to help me along the way.
Lower temperatures are a sure sign that
summer is gradually coming to an end.
Make sure you don't miss out on any tomatoes by employing a
couple of tricks to get the most out of your tomato plants.
- By removing some
of the leaves, more sunlight will be
allowed to reach your tomatoes. The shady protection they
provide is not needed as much now that fall is closing in.
- Lopping the tops
off the plants will help ensure that the plants' energy will go
into finishing existing fruit production rather than the now
hopeless task of producing new fruit.
tricks (and a little luck) will help keep those tomato plants
producing as long as possible.
There's still time to seed some
fall salad crops for this season. With the
recent mild weather and rainfall some fall-season
vegetables can still be seeded now with a
decent chance of developing
before freezing weather stops their progress.
To increase your odds, try lettuce, radishes, and spinach.
These salad crops grow rapidly and can
withstand a light freeze. A hard early freeze
everything in its tracks but it's certainly worth the risk for
fresh salad greens.
The Great Divide...
Savvygardeners who took
good care of their perennials this
summer might notice them bursting
from their beds. Sound familiar? If so, they need some relief.
Once they are done blooming for the year it's time to divide
your plants need to be divided if:
- They are
spreading beyond your desired range for them.
flowers are not producing as well as in the past.
center of the clump of flowers is dying.
lower areas of foliage are sickly.
For a quick
but effective description of the dividing process you can read
"Dividing Spring Blooming Perennials" in our
Packing Up The Peonies...
Peonies aren't particularly fond of being uprooted and
transplanted but from time to time it may become necessary.
Maybe their plot has become too shady
or another project is displacing them.
Here are a few simple steps to get it
- Cut the stems to
near ground level this month.
- Carefully dig up
as much of the root system as possible.
- Replant the peony
in a hole large enough for the roots.
- Make sure the
buds are one to two inches below the soil surface.
- Toss in some bone
meal and firm the soil around the plant.
- Water thoroughly.
mind - transplanted peonies often refuse to bloom the first
spring after transplant. Your patience will be rewarded in
Root pruning is practice sometimes
used in late fall to restore blooming on older Wisteria plants.
It serves to check top growth and favor flower production and
must be combined with summer pruning to be effective. Use a
spade to cut vertically into the soil (about 18 inches deep) and
about four feet from the main trunk, all around the vine.
Dandelions, clover, and other broadleaf weeds that were a
problem last spring and all summer should be controlled this
fall. The period from late September to mid-November is the
ideal time to control broadleaf weeds in turfgrass because
broadleaf weeds are most susceptible to herbicides at this time.
The turf and weeds must be actively growing for this to be
effective so be sure your lawn is well-watered before applying.
Apply on a sunny day with moderate temperatures, no wind, ample
soil moisture and no rain in the 24-hour forecast. An
herbicide containing two or more active ingredients including
2,4-D, MCPP, dicamba, triclopyr, or clopyralid will control most
broadleaf weeds with one application. As always, be careful when
using broadleaf herbicides as they may damage the stuff you want
to keep - like flowers, trees, shrubs,
What Weed Is What...
Speaking of weeds, readers often ask us
for good ways to identify the dizzying number of weed types
found in yards and gardens. The University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has one of the best on-line
resources we've ever
seen. Search weeds by type, leaf, flower, growth
characteristics, and more. You can
it out for yourself here...
"In my garden I can
find solitude. I can go out there and say, "No phones, no
interruptions, I am busy," and then shut myself off for a little