October 3, 2019
I usually write this column early on Tuesday morning. I woke up early on Tuesday morning and heard a strange sound outside. The sound was a gentle rain falling. I guess it has been a long time since we have had rain!
You may have noticed that some of the maple trees have begun to change color and some have begun to drop their leaves. Before the leaves cover your lawn, now would be a good time to apply some lime to your lawn. We had a lot of rain in the spring. Rain can make the soil acidic and lime will help to neutralize the acidity. Any of the lawn fertilizer that you apply during the year will help to make the soil acidic as well. If you didn’t apply lime in the spring, it would probably be a good idea to apply some to your lawn now.
How are your tomatoes ripening at this time of the year? If you are like most people, you probably have a lot of green tomatoes on the plant and they are slow to ripen. Shorter days of sunshine can be one cause, but the main reason is probably lack of fertilizer. If you look at a container of fertilizer, there are 3 numbers on the container. The last number is potassium. Potassium is needed by the tomato plant to help the tomatoes to turn from green to red.
At this time of the year, you should be using a fertilizer that specifically says that it is a tomato fertilizer. If you look closely at the numbers, the level of potassium will be higher than the first 2 numbers. If you can find a tomato fertilizer that is in a powder or liquid form, you should mix the fertilizer with water and use that solution to fertilize your plants. At this time of the year, you should be fertilizing your tomato plants with this solution every 7 to 10 days. The tomato plants have grown to a huge size and they will have a massive root system that will be trying to take up as much fertilizer as possible. Help your tomato plants to ripen all those green tomatoes by keeping up with regular applications of fertilizer.
There are probably many weeds that have sprung up around the edges of your yard. Many of these weeds will be producing seeds that will drop to the ground and come the spring, they will turn into more weeds in your yard. Now would be a good time to pull those weeds and get rid of them before they can drop those seeds. Remember to wear gloves when you are doing the weed removal just in case there is some poison ivy mixed in with those weeds.
Speaking of poison ivy, now is probably your last chance to apply weed killer to the leaves of this plant. If you can kill the poison ivy now, you may be able to prevent the formation of the berries on the plant. The birds love the berries and will readily eat the berries. Inside the berry is a seed that travels through the bird’s digestive system and ultimately comes out the other end of the bird. This is why you sometimes find poison ivy growing in places where it has never grown before. I know that this is often the thanks I get for feeding the birds all winter!!
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.