30 September 15, 2010
I thought it might be a good time to give you answers to some of the commonly asked questions that have been asked at the store in the past week or so.
Any number of people has asked if they should be still fertilizing their vegetable gardens. The answer is yes; you should still be fertilizing the vegetable gardens. Tomatoes are still ripening and to get those green tomatoes to ripen, they need lots of fertilizer. Any of the vegetables that are still growing need to have fertilizer to continue to ripen the vegetables. As I tell people, you keep on fertilizing the vegetable garden until the frost kills off the vegetables.
Another question is about planting spring flowering bulbs. People want to know if it is too early to plant tulip and daffodil bulbs and how much longer they have to plant these bulbs. It is not too early to plant these spring flowering bulbs. It is actually better if you plant them early. This gives the bulbs time to get a stronger root system established. The answer as to how long you have to plant bulbs depends on the weather. Once the ground freezes, it is too late to plant the bulbs. Normally, the ground can freeze around the first or second week of November. I have seen it happen as early as the first week of November and as late as Christmas. One thing that always seems to confuse people is planting after a frost and planting after the ground freezes. Over the years, I have had any number of people say” Oh, I can’t plant bulbs now because we have had a frost” A frost really doesn’t have anything to do with the ability to plant bulbs. A frost may kill off the annual flowers, making it easier to plant the bulbs. The bulbs are planted 4 to 8 inches below the surface of the ground. A frost isn’t going to bother them. So, even if we get an early frost, it won’t have any effect on your ability to plant bulbs.
Another question that comes up this time of the year has to do with fertilizing lawns. The question usually concerns seeding the lawn and fertilizing the lawn at the same time. Lawn fertilizer won’t harm grass seed unless there is some type of weed killer mixed in with the lawn fertilizer. It is better for the seed if you use a seed starter fertilizer in those areas where you are seeding. This type of fertilizer helps to get the roots deeper into the soil. You can use this type of fertilizer to fertilize the entire lawn. The traditional fall fertilizers have higher amounts of phosphorous and potassium. Both of these fertilizer components help to get a stronger root system established in the lawn. This fertilizer then, makes for a great seed starter fertilizer.
If you have Japanese bamboo in your yard, you know how difficult it is to control. The question always arises as to when is it the best time to control this weed. The right time is now. When the Japanese bamboo forms the seed heads at the tops of the bamboo, it is about ready to take all of the nutrients in the leaves and transfer all of those nutrients down to the roots in preparation for winter. If you apply Round–Up to the leaves of this plant now, it will cause the Round-Up to be pulled down to the deepest parts of the roots. The weed killer will then kill off those deep roots. This will go a long way towards killing off this weed.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.