18September 14, 2017

One of the things that people forget to do at this time of the year is to continue to fertilize their outdoor plants. I am not talking about trees and shrubs. Most of those won’t need to be fertilized till late fall or some cases, not again until spring. However, your vegetable plants need to be fertilized on a regular schedule right up until a hard freeze ends their growing season. In previous weeks, I have talked about the importance of fertilizing tomato plants if you want those green tomatoes to turn red. The rest of your vegetable garden has grown too. Those squash, beans, kale, lettuce, peas and more all need to be fertilized on a regular schedule if you want the fall to be a great time to harvest fresh vegetables. But vegetables are not the only things that respond well to being fertilized. You should still be fertilizing those window boxes that you planted in the spring. If you fertilize all spring, summer and fall, those plants should look pristine until a killing frost takes those out of the picture. If you recently re-planted those window boxes with fall plants, keep in mind that those plants need to be fertilized too. Your mums usually have a lot of flower buds nestled under the leaves. If you don’t keep up with fertilizing the plants those flower buds will never mature and you will be giving up a lot of the flowers power that mums can give you as the temperatures cool off. Fertilizer is the food your plants need. Don’t stop feeding because the temperatures are getting cooler.

Many of you put your houseplants outside for the summer. As the temperatures cool, you begin to think that it is time to bring the plants back into the house. Before you bring those plants back inside, please be sure to treat the plant to kill any insects that may be hitching a ride on your plants. When the plants are outside, ladybugs and other predators are feeding on the bad bugs that are on your plants. Once the plants are in the house, the predators can’t do their job any more. Aphids, spider mites and scale all have the potential to reproduce at an alarming rate that can quickly build up in numbers sufficient to kill your plants. Before you bring in your plants, treat your plants with a systemic insecticide. This type of insecticide is absorbed by the roots and is taken up into the sap of the plants. As the insects feed on that sap, the insecticide kills the bad bugs. Systemic insecticides can last up to 6 to 8 weeks in your plants. This is long enough to kill off the bad bugs and any of their newly hatched offspring. You need roughly a week for the systemic insecticide to be fully absorbed into the plant. So, about a week before you are going to bring the plants inside, make sure that you treat your plants with the systemic insecticide. We carry this product in our store.

The nice part of this fall is that we have had cool weather and we have had some rain. This creates the perfect time to patch those bare spots in your lawn. It is also a good time to put in a new lawn from seed. To get a well established lawn before the winter arrives, you need to get the seed in place by the end of September.

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

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