Greetings everyone, I hope all of you are well. This week I will cover some garden tips for four faithful readers outside of South Dakota. We have readers all over the country and I normally give tips for our readers who subscribe online once per quarter. I will start with the western coastal States and areas outside of the high country in early-freeze zones.
Lawns: September is a great time for early fall fertilizer applications. A great blend right now is a 10-20-20. This will help your root systems and strengthen your turf grass crowns.
Start watching for adult European Crane Fly laying their eggs, and check for active larvae in about 5 weeks. If you find more than seven per square foot, you will need to have your lawn treated.
Color splashes: Now is the time to plant your fall color splashes, not including ornamental kales. Kales should be planted around Sep. 20.
Trees and Shrubs: Now is a great time to transplant your large trees. The ground should be moist but not drenching wet this month and after the first of October. watering will no longer be needed. Remember to stake your trees and. if needed. add temporary retention berms when watering to get the last of the air pockets out.
Now is the best time to move your Rhododendrons. It’s also a good time to find some new ones in the you dig farms in Olympia and Sumner.
Eastern States, not including areas above 3000 ft above sea level:
Lawns:This has been a tough year for the lawn lover due to fusarium patch. This is a fungus that attacks bent grass. Most of you have at least 50 percent bent grass as your lawn mix. Neem oil at a 1 percent mix ratio is your best defense, along with a dose of lawn food such as 20-0-0. Out growing the fungus works very well- it also can make your lawn a chore for a couple weeks. Follow up with a 10-20-20 about three weeks from now in slow release pellets. You also will need to start watching for European Crane Fly laying eggs.
Fall color splashes
Go ahead and start your fall plantings and transitioning from your summer-to-fall plan, most likely starting with your geraniums.
In about three weeks, plant your fall shade color features and spring bulbs. My favorite for fast fall color are mum’s. Just remember in early spring they are not dead- they just should be put in the greenhouse.
Now is the last chance for you to plant your small to medium trees. Remember to stake them in all four corners, equally squared out, and mulch them in for the cold. (This goes for shrubs as well.) If you mulch your leaves in your beds, remember not to overdo it around new evergreen shrubs. They will still need light and air flow.
Irrigation: Call your local irrigation specialist now to schedule your fall system shut down, blow out and double check inspection. Most counties require your test results by Nov. 1, so get in the schedule now.
Mid-West Upper Plains and Gulf Region
For those of you in the Gulf, you have my prayers and good thoughts. I hope 2021 is a better year without these deadly storms.
Your biggest job when you can get to it is to pull things out, clean up, and depending on your impact from the storms, start planning for next year. If you had a lot of flooding, soil test when you can to check for pollutants and if found, contact your county extension office for resources.
Irrigation: Depending on your location, you may need your normal shut down completed and verification your backflow unit is ok by your city or county due to flooding.
Upper Midwest folks, your gardens are winding down like ours here at home. But there is still time for that last row of lettuce or cabbage before the frost hits hard. Remember as well that your gourds will continue to ripen a week or two after the first frost. If the temps call for more than an hour or two of freezes, 30 degrees or colder, pull your gourds out now. Depending on your exact location, your ground freezes fast and early so wait on the trees till spring. Depending on your location, plant fall color in the next 2 to 4 weeks.
Irrigation: Your systems should be winterized as well. Some areas due to water restrictions may need new permits in 2021. This is a result of the ongoing abandonment of oil operations in certain areas and water well contamination. Irrigation is very highly regulated, so be sure to stay on top of local changes.