24October 7, 2015

The cold and raw weather has made most of us think cold winter weather can’t be too far off. This means that we need to prepare for that first real cold snap. Here are a few things you need to do.

If you have a vegetable garden that has gone by, you should pull up the dead plants. If those plants had fungus diseases this summer, you want to get rid of those plants. If you are thinking that you will just leave them through the winter and take care of them in the spring, keep in mind that those diseases form spores. Spores are the “eggs “ for next seasons new crop of diseases. The spores fall onto the ground and will splash up onto your new plants next spring. Your plants will then become infected with the same diseases you had this past summer. Getting rid of those plants now will help to minimize the number of spores that will infect your plants next spring.

If your tomato plants are still growing and the tomatoes are not ripening, its time to fertilize those tomato plants. Tomato plants use a lot of fertilizer to carry out the ripening process. If you don’t keep up with the fertilizing, the ripening comes to a halt. Sure, you can have fried green tomatoes, but wouldn’t you rather have fresh ripe tomatoes?

Once your annual flowerbeds and your vegetable garden are cleaned up, it would be a good idea to plant some winter rye on that bare soil. Winter rye seed will sprout even in cold weather and form a mat of green grass – like foliage in your gardens. This foliage and its corresponding root system help to prevent the winter from eroding away your soil. Come the spring, you will turn the winter rye into the soil and you will be adding a great source of organic matter to your gardens. We sell winter rye seed in our store.

With the arrival of Columbus Day weekend, you are getting to the last safe time to plant grass seed. Some years you can get away with planting grass seed later, but so many years, the ground gets too cold for the seed to sprout if you wait until late in the month of October. I know the are a lot of fall events to do, but if you are planning on patching spots in your lawn, or putting in a new lawn, your time is running out.

It would appear that there are a lot more Japanese beetle grubs in our lawns than most people would have guessed. So many of you have told me that they saw very few adult Japanese beetles this summer. However, when female beetles find that there are fewer beetles in an area, they tend to lay a lot more eggs. Many of you will find that skunks are digging up your lawn. What they are looking for is one of there favorite food, Japanese beetle grubs. You still have time to apply a grub control to your lawn. If you wait too long, the skunks and the moles will make a mess of your lawn looking for grubs to eat.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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