Friday, February 17, 2006
October Gardening Tips
Plant spring blooming bulbs now! Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths and many other varieties of bulbs will provide your landscape with a splash of beautiful color next spring. While your planting your spring-blooming fall bulbs, be sure to dig up your Cannas, Dahlias, Gladiolus and other tender bulbs in your landscape. Remove tops and let dry for two weeks. Dust with sulfur and store in dry peat moss or vermiculite in a cool place. It is also a good time to transplant and divide Peonies and other perennials if necessary. Now is the time to feed deciduous trees such as Oaks, Maples, Ash, and Zelkovas. Use a good quality slow-release fertilizer around the "drip line" of the tree, which is an imaginary circle that runs around the tree beneath the outermost branches. Speaking of trees, do not be alarmed when you see the interior needles on White Pines turning yellow for this is normal fall shedding. This condition causes much concern for gardeners each year. But this is a natural process that occurs on pines at this time. There is still time to seed the lawn if you have thin areas of grass or would like to overseed the entire lawn to introduce new and improved varieties of grass seed to the lawn. In cool season areas seeding should be done by mid October. You can seed later than that, but then the seed would probably not germinate until next spring. If you are seeding the lawn, we recommend topdressing your lawn with compost, or a 100% organic soil conditioner. Adding compost to your lawn improves soil structure, increases biological activity and soil fertility. Apply at a rate of approximately1cubic yard per 1,000 square feet. If needed, lime lawns to raise the soil pH and add calcium and magnesium to the soil. Lawns prefer a pH range of 6.0-6.8, which typically means that we need to add lime to our soils to increase the pH. Apply lime at the rate of 40 - 50 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. If more lime is needed, it can be done again after six weeks. If you haven't done so already, bring houseplants back indoors. It's a good idea to spray them with an insecticide and let dry before bringing them back indoors.