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 winter.
- Dispose of any leaves that have begun to fall that may be infected with diseases to assist in the prevention of infection in the spring.
- Maintain a continuous watering cycle. Even though the temperatures may be getting cooler, the plants still need to be watered 2-3 times a week with a good soaking.
- As temperatures begin to cool and soil becomes very moist, think about planting trees and shrubs since this is the perfect time. Apply compost into the soil before installation.
- Newly planted trees and shrubs should be mulched with a three inch layer. Leave some room between the barna dn mulch; usually a couple of inches are sufficient.
- The fall is the best time to transplant because the plant is winding down its activity for winter dormancy.
- The common mistake people make is differentiating between planting and transplanting.
- Planting refers to taking new plant materials like shrubs, trees, or perennials from the nursery or garden center and planting them in your landscape.
- Transplating refers to taking existing plant material from your property, uprooting them from the soil, and moving them to another location on the property.
- In both cases you should follow the planting instructions above, however, when transplanting be advised the larger the tree and shrub the larger the root ball you want to create.
- For instance, a 12ft. tree’s root bal should be significantly large, say 18ft. frlom the trunk. A 5 or 6 ft. tree’s root ball should 7 or 8ft. from the trunk.
- The rule of thumb is the more root system intact during the transplanting the better the survival rate of the plant.
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.
- Lacebugs are still active, but the damage is done for the season.
- Redheaded pine sawflies are yellow caterpillars with black spots and red colored heads are active now. 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 helocks to peaches and pines to yews. Systemic products like Systemic Insect Killer can be applied to the soil for control. Also contact sprays like Bonide’s All Seasons Oil or Neem oil based products like Bonide’s Bon-Neem work well to help control this insect.
- Warm season mites (Spider Mites) are active now and can be controlled by using All Seasons Oil to suppress their damage.
- Hemlock wooly adelgid is currently dormant but can still be treated with Bonide’s All Seasons Oil.
- Although most diseases are finished doing their damage applying Bonide’s Infuse on a regular basis will help prevent disease next year.
- Rose black spots occurs as dark brown to black, rounded spots on leaves and canes. Throughout the growing season repeated black spots infect the new foliage and canes during wet periods. Eventually the leaves turn yellow and drop prematurely from teh rose. Grow roses in an area where there is good air circulation and sinlight for rapid leaf drying. Water the soil around the rose and try not to get the leaves wet or water early in the day so the leaves can dry quickly. Fungicides like Bonide’s Captain will help minimize the damage.
- Remove apples, pears, plums, etc which have brown rot on them to prevent infection for next year.
- Cut back any perennials that have passed and turned yellow.
- Apply Schultz’s Bloom Plus to stimulate an increase in flower production.
- Using 2-3 inches of mulch around borders of gardens and landscapes will help suppress weed growth and will also help with water retention.
- Check for symptoms of Early Blight, a disease that gradually causes plants to lose their leaves. Early Blight will cause the tomato to develop but may not reach its maximum size and will be prone to sinscald. Quickly use tomatoes affected by Early Blight as they may rot soon after harvest. Take the affected plant and bury it at least one foot deep in the soil.
- To encourage development of sprouts, pinch the tips of Brussels Sprouts. Sprouts taste better after the plants have been exposed to cool temperatures.
- Strawberries should be narrowed to about twelve inches by tiling betweent he rows or digging out stray plants. Strawberry plants are now forming the buds that will yield berries, so be sure to water if the soil gets dry over the next few weeks. Apply an application of fertilizer to promote vigor in the plant.
- Water for frost. Vegetables such as Pumpkins, Winter Squash, and Gourds should be harvested before being exposed to a frost. Freezing temperatures will shorten their life in storage.
- Any plant infected with powdery mildew should be disposed. Powdery Mildew is a fungus that overwinters in the soil, and the easiest way to control this problem is to bury the plant one foot deep or more.
- Cover crops such as oats or winter rye should be planted. Cool season cover crops will add organic matter to the soil when tilled under next spring before planting tour vegetables.
- Mow less frequently. If your lawn is primarily Kentucky bluegrass mow at around 2 – 2.5 inches, where as 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. This helps with building the soil up and improving rooting as well as holding moisture better.
- Aerate the soil of your lawn to help your lawn resist compaction and 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 fertilizer that is high in nitrogen like Greenview Greenpower 30-4-4 once a year; or Espoma Organic Lawn Food twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall to help create a nice green lush lawn.
- 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.
- If you have large areas of grass which are dead from grub problems you can fix this by reseeding or you can remove the dead material and replace it with sod. Either solution will help with dead spots in the lawn.
- Bayer Powerforce is a broad range insect control product that can be applied now and is a great substitute for Diazinon.
- Reseed bare spots in existing lawns early this month. If you seed too late, the grass will not survive the winter.
- Aerate heavily trafficked areas of your lawn to reduce compacted soils. You will notice compacted soils where no plants grow or only a few pesky weeds.
- Grasses are now producting roots. Fertilize established lawns and your grass will take up nutrients more readily than any other time of year.
- Give water plants their last dose of fertilizer tablets like Tetra PondCare Aquatic Plant Food Tablets.
- Continue feeding the fish using Tetra PondCare Floating Pond Sticks with high protein formulated for water temps aboue 65 degrees during a high time of rapid growth and high activity.
- Remove any dead hyacinths and water lettuce.
- Tropical marginals should be removed from the pond and placed in your basement away from frost injury in a bucket of water.
- Transplant some of your lilies and marginal plants using some Aquatic Soil Perfector by Espoma or PondCare Aquatic Planting Media.
- Remove any debris at the bottom of the pond with a skimmer net.