25 November 19, 2008

This week I will answer a few questions that have been e mailed in to me at the Daily News.
Linda has a problem with white spots on her daylilies. She wanted to know what she should do. In the late fall, white spots could be egg cases from any number of different insects. For this reason, cleaning up your flower beds in the fall is an important garden project. By removing old leaves and either composting the leaves or disposing of them with the leaf clean-up, you will eliminate many of the over wintering insects. By eliminating many of those “winter homes” for insects and diseases, you will have an easier time controlling insects in the spring and summer.
Wes wrote in to ask about his lawn. He had a large section planted in October. The grass is coming up, but of course, the leaves are falling on the new lawn. He wanted to know if he should remove the leaves or wait. My advice would be to remove the leaves. You may have to do a light raking so as not to pull out the new grass. If you leave the leaves, they will pack down and smother the new grass. As far as seeding goes in October, that is one of the perils you run into. Now as far as care for the lawn for the rest of the year, I would put down lime and definitely put down a fall type of fertilizer. The combination of lime and fertilizer will help the grass to develop a better root system. What make a good lawn a good lawn is the amount of roots that can grow and thrive in the soil. Come early spring, another application of fall fertilizer or seed starter fertilizer will help with more root development before the heat of summer arrives.  This application of fertilizer is put down in the spring as soon as it is safe to walk on the lawn. No sense in walking on wet ground and compacting the soil.

This time of the year is the time that many insects begin to thrive on your houseplants. Turning on the heat in the house means that the air in your home becomes dry air. The dry air is especially appreciated by spider mites. If you don’t check your houseplants each weeks for signs of insects, and treat for those insects before they become a major problem, you have a better chance of controlling insects.

With Christmas being about 5 weeks away, it is time to begin to get paperwhite bulbs planted for the holidays. If you start paperwhite bulbs, you can figure about 4 weeks from planting to having the bulbs in bloom. Depending on what degree of maturity you are looking for, blooming or just forming buds, you can start your bulbs at the appropriate number of weeks before you plan to give them as gifts.

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

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