17September 13, 2018
It was nice to get some cooler weather this past week. It would appear that it will get a bit warmer the rest of the week, but at least the humidity should be bearable if you are going to be working in the yard.
Last week I started you on a list of things to do for the fall. Let me add a few things to that to do list.
Many of you put your houseplants outside for the summer. The plants generally love being outdoors and they will put out either a little bit or a lot of new growth. As the weather cools, you know that the plants will need to come back into the house. However, you could be opening up your plants to a world of hurt if you just bring the plants into the house. While the plants are outside, they may be hosting a lot of different insects. The ladybugs and a host of other predators will usually keep the pests in check. Once you bring the plants inside, there is none of the predator insects in your home. It won’t take long for harmful insect populations to grow and then to seriously damage the plants you had outside and the pest can also spread to other plants in your home. Before you bring the plants into your home, you need to treat the plants with an appropriate insecticide. For the most part, you should be treating the plants with a systemic insecticide. This insecticide comes in a granular form. It is applied to the surface of the soil and then you apply water to release the insecticide. The insecticide is absorbed by the roots and taken up into the sap of the plant. As the insects feed, the insecticide kills them. It takes about a week or more for the insecticide to get to all parts of the plant so you really need to do this sooner rather than later. The insecticide will remain active for up to 8 weeks so one application should keep the bugs under control especially if eggs were to hatch out after you bring the plants back into the house. There are a couple of things you need to know about this product. You should never use it on plants that you will be eating any part of the plant. Herbs and citrus trees would be a good example. The insecticide will get into all parts of the plant and if you ate the leaves or fruit of the plant, well let’s say it wouldn’t be a nice experience. An application of an organic insecticide would be your best option for edible plants. You will notice that the granules will remain behind on any plants that you treat with the systemic insecticide. The granules are called a carrier. The insecticide is applied to the granules and once the granules are watered, the insecticide is released. Over time, the granules will decompose and disappear. One of the last things you need to know is that you need to apply enough of the product to provide proper protection to the plant. As always with any pesticide, you need to read and follow all label directions.
If you have Japanese bamboo in your yard, you know how difficult it is to control. It has a massive root system that will spread through your yard and form a dense hedgerow of plants. The best time of the year to control this plant is in the fall. Once the plant forms its white flower clusters, it is getting ready to pull all the food in the leaves and the stalks down into the root system. If you apply a strong enough weed killer now, the weed killer will be drawn down into the roots and will kill a large amount of the roots. Depending on the weed killer you use, it may take an application this fall and another application next fall to control this terribly invasive weed.
Well that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.