Tree & Shrub Maintenance
- Fall pruning can be done at this time. If the plants are spring flowering be selective in pruning because you are removing next years flower buds.
- Prune evergreen hedges so that they are able to shed the snow more quickly come cinter.
- Dispose of any leaves that are falling and may be infected with diseases to assist in the prevention of infection come spring.
- Maintain a continuous watering cycle. Even though the temperature may be cooler, the plants still need to be watered 2-3 times a week with a good soaking.
- Are your evergreen turning brown? Don’t be alarmed, white pines and arborvitaes in particular often drop older needles. All evergreens shed needles at some time of their lives. Browning of evergreens is normal at this time of year.
Insect & Disease
- Most insects have finished feeding for the year and are in the adult stage. They are dormant, but will become active again in the fall for mating purposes.
- Redheaded pine sawflies are yellow caterpillars with black spots and red colored heads and are active. Mugo pine is target for this insect, if spotted on your plant material treat with either Bonide’s All Seasons Oil or a Neem based product such as Bon-Neem.
- Scale insects are active now and have a wide range of hosts from hemlocks to peaches and pines to yews. Systemic products like Systemic Insect Killer can be applies to the soil for control. Also contact sprays like oil sprays like Bonide’s All Seasons Oil or Neem oil based products like Bonide’s Bon-Neem work well to help control this insect.
- Cool season mites are active again and can be controlled by using Bonide’s All Seasons Oil to suppress their damage.
- Hemlock wooly adelgid has become active again in the cooler weather and can be treated with Bonide’s All Seasons Oil.
- Although most diseases are finised doing their damage, apply Bonide’s Infuse as a jump start for preventing infection in the spring.
- Remove apples, pears, plums, etc that have brown rot on them from the ground to prevent infection for next year.
- Powdery mildew can be supressed next year by picking up and removing any leaves fallen and properly dispose of them. Do not compost!
- Cut back any perennials that have passed and turned yellow.
- Using 2-3 inche of mulch around borders of gardens and landscapes will help suppress weed growth and will help with water retention. For the winter months it will help maintain a consistent soil temperature.
- Begin planying youre spring flowering bulbs this month and next month to allow the bulbs to go through a cold period. When planting, use Espoma’s Bulb-Tone as a fertilizer to help the bulb with storing energy over the winter.
- Planting spring bulbs now. Carefullt inspect bulbs befor eplanting; discard any soft bulbs. Allow four to six weeks for the planting root.
- Divide or move any spring blooming perennials.
- Now is the time to winterize your irrigation system.
- Mow less frequently. If your lawn is primarily Kentucky bluegrass mow at arounf 2 – 2.5 inches, whereas Tall Fescue should be around 2.5 inches. If you’re not sure what type of lawn you have, the general height should be around 2 – 2.5 inches from the soil level.
- The fall is the best time to install new lawns as the temperatures begin to decrease. Use the correct blend of seed for the area you are trying to cover. Be it full sun, sun/shade, or dense shade, there is seed available for all sunlight exposure.
- Top dress your lawn with loam and sand about a ¼ inch. Doing this will be beneficial in building up the soil structure, improving root growth, and increasing moisture retention.
- Aerate the soil of your lawn to help your lawn resist compaction adn increase air circulation. This can be accomplished by simply putting small holes in your lawn using an aerator or other device such as aerating sandals.
- Apply a fall fertilizer like Greenview Wintergreen to prepare the lawn for over wintering.
- Organic St. Gabriel Laboratories’ Milky Spore can also be applied for grub control though it takes a few years and multiple applications to be the most effective.
- Bayer Powerforce is a broad range insect control product, can be applied now, and is a great substitute for Diazinon.
- Rake leaves as they fall on your lawn. Leaving them built up will block sunlight which your lawn needs.
- Edge sidewalks and driveways by maintaining edges with a weedwacker held vertically. In the fall, edge to maintain a crisp and clean look to your garden into the winter.
- Use a Spring/Fall food like Tetra PondCare Spring & Autumn Floating Pond Sticks with low protein and a high carbohydrate formulation for water temps from 42-70 degrees when feeding fish.
- This is a good time to do a partial (50%) water change to reduce toxic gases and increase oxygen levels. If you chose to do so make sure to balance your pH levels.
- Keep your filters running to remove particles, convert ammonia, and add oxygen to the water.
- Use Autumn Prep Microbe-Lift to help with any leaves or debris you were unable to get to at the bottom of the pond.