August 29, 2007
I've gone and done it. If you have already looked at
Kevin's pictures you will know what I am talking about. I
have let most of my potted annuals die. Yep, die. I am tired of
them and they are tired looking so out they go!
Transition time is here. Out with the summer annuals and in with
the fall and winter ones. It is time to plant pansies and mums.
A new season is right around the corner so I will greet it with
newly planted pots and appropriate color.
Oh yeah, have you
thought about planting bulbs? Kevin and I purchased close to 500
the other day. I should get started soon because as you know
planting 500 bulbs takes a little bit of time. Next spring will
be delightful. Lots of tulips, daffodils and crocus. I can
hardly wait to show you all.
They are calling
for rain today so I am hoping they are right. Last Wednesday is
when we had an unexpected storm. It rained really hard and the
wind blew even harder - bringing down
some rather large limbs in our area. It was an isolated storm
because several people in the Kansas City area had no rain at
all. I was glad to get what we did.
Longer shadows and shorter days 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
milder weather and rainfall (hopefully)
around the corner 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 a 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,
Late Season Grubs...
If your lawn has large dead patches, check
to be sure that the damage has not been caused by grubs. This is
easily done by pulling up handfuls of dead turf. If the turf
comes up like a carpet, then you have grubs. Chemical treatments this
late in the season are best done with trichlorfon (Dylox, Bayer
24-hr Grub Control). It is important that this product be watered
in immediately after application. Waiting as little as 24 hours
can reduce effectiveness to the point that grubs are not
controlled. Apply 1/4 inch of water to insure the insecticide
reaches the grubs.
A non-chemical alternative may be beneficial nematodes. There are
a number of commercially available products that claim effectiveness
against white grubs (the ones that work against Japanese Beetle grubs
are of little use in the Kansas City area).
memories, and many memories bring nostalgic pleasure. We would
be wise to plan for this when we plant a garden."