It’s no secret we live in paradise. No hurricanes or tornadoes wreak havoc in this beautiful place we call home. We’re spoiled and we know it. Enjoy every minute when you go into the garden. This month there are a few garden tasks you might consider doing while you’re out "smelling the roses".
#1 Slug & snail fall population control drive
Slugs and snails turn into egg-laying machines in fall. That’s because they know they may not survive the long, cold winter and therefore, need to lay lots of eggs now that will hatch in spring. They want to ensure that there will be plenty of offspring to carry on the important work of devouring our plants. Snails build up populations faster than slugs because they reproduce more often but both are good at adding to the population.
In fall, the average snail can lay up to 85 eggs and each slug can lay up to 100 at a shot. Apply one of the safer
slug and snail baits containing iron sulfate. You’ll never get them all, but applying bait now should help reduce the number of slugs and snails that will hatch and make your life miserable next spring.
#2 Economic stimulus package for perennials
If flowers on perennial plants such as aster, campanula, calla lily, daisies, daylily, rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) and yarrow were smaller than normal this year or your plants are just too big and crowded, it’s time to divide them. Dig out each clump so the rootball come up intact. This will take a little muscle but think of all those calories you’re burning in the process.. Gently shake off or wash off excess soil and divide with a sharp knife, pruning shears or a shovel I like to use an old serrated bread knife for this. Each division should have leaves and plenty of roots Replant each immediately. You’ll increase the number of your plants and save a lot of money, too.
#3 Plant debris makes good…
As summer flowers and vegetables give way to new plantings, add old, disease-free plants and debris to a compost pile or bin. Compost only pest-free weeds, fallen leaves and fruit. Also mix in kitchen vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds and grass clipping. Chop up large pieces so they break down faster. Keep the pile moist like a wrung-out sponge. Depending on temperature , the size of the material in the pile and whether you use a barrel composter or an open pile, compost can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to mature.
Diseased plant debris should be put in your compost can where the hight heat of a commercial compost operation will break it down. Cleaning up fallen, leaves, fruit and other debris will reduce the number of sites that harbor insects and diseases over the winter, too.
#4 Caterpillar wars
Don’t let the caterpillars get to your cabbage first. If you see small holes in the leaves or if the new growth is chewed on your cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli plants, they are probably being attacked by caterpillars. Search leaves and pick off and destroy or spray with organic BT ( bacillius thuringiensis) or spinosad ( Capt. Jack’s Deadbug Brew )
#5 Enjoy Indian Summer. Winter will be here all too soon !