23September 19, 2012

As I write this column on early Monday morning, the temperature at the house is 39 degrees. I wonder were I put away all of my winter clothes?

Many of you planted grass seed this past week. I know that we are in for some rainy weather mid week and yes you won’t have to water the grass seed. But by the later part of the week, the winds will blow and the sun will come out and the soil will dry out quickly. Just make sure that you keep up with the watering when that soil begins to dry out.

Once that seed has sprouted, many of you will wonder when it is time to begin to mow that newly seeded grass. Once the blades of grass have gotten two to three inches tall, you can begin to cut the grass. Before you begin to cut that new grass, make sure that you have a sharp edge on your lawn mower blade. A dull blade tears the grass as opposed to a sharp blade cutting the blade of grass. The dull blade can pull the new blades of grass out of the lawn. All in all, a sharp blade is better for cutting your grass. I know it isn’t something you think about, but it is important to have a sharp blade on the lawn mower.

Cooler weather means that soon it will be time to cut back perennials and to put the vegetable garden to bed for the winter. If you had problems with fungus diseases, it is critically important that you do a good job of cleaning up the plant debris. Any diseased plant material that is left in you gardens will be a source for infecting your plants next year. As fungus diseases die off, they form spores on the leaves. Spores are the “eggs” of fungus diseases. The spores spend the winter on the plant debris and in some cases; they can spend the winter laying on the soil. Come springtime, rain or watering of the plants will splash the spores onto the new growth of the plant. This will start a new infection on your plants. Many of you have asked if there is anything you can apply to the soil to kill off the spores. As far as I know there is nothing the homeowner can buy that will kill off the spores in the soil. However, garden center trade shows are coming up and if I find anything new, I will let you know.

Every spring I will get people coming into the garden center asking if we have any tulip or daffodil bulbs that they can plant in their yard. The spring flowering bulbs, tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinth, must be planted in the fall in order to have spring flowers. Make sure that you take some time this fall to plant a few of these bulbs. Nothing says spring is on the way like the crocus flowers poking up out of the soil.

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

Oh, by the way, I just let the dog out and the temperature is down to 38 degrees!

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