Greetings everyone! As we wind down Labor Day weekend and our summer weather winds down with it, the time has come to prepare for our fall and winter weather.
I hope everyone has enjoyed their gardens this year. If this year was your first gardening, you may think it’s all over and done with the changes of the seasons, but there is still work to be done.
Some weather models are calling for a rare Sep. 8th frost and for most of us, this will mean the end if our growing season, but not the end of our garden season. I will go over a fall to-do list in preparation for the 2021 planting season.
Fall to-do list:
• Make note of what grew well and what
• Complete a fall soil test so you know what nutrients need to be
incorporated for 2021.
• Remove the tops of plants and remove your drip irrigation
• If you are planting a cover crop, do so by the end of this week-
• Drain and dry store your hoses that you will no longer need
• Weed out your walking paths and rows. Depending on your
garden techniques, you may choose to till rows in and cover with
plastic or other coverings for fall weed control and wind erosion.
• Some plants will be more hardy and keep growing so this
doesn’t all have to be done this week. Cover crops can be seeded
in over existing plants.
• This week is the time to start using your small frame hoop
houses and using your cold frames.
Farm-related information: This year has been remarkable in terms of new technology being introduced to the industry. Two items that come to mind are mid-size tractor power and fall seeding by aircraft for cover crops.
In tractors, there is a company making remarkable progress in small electric tractors that are 40 HP and under, great for the small-farm industry. The equipment is not so new but the lower prices are starting at $45,000 for a unit that can handle a 60- 80 acre farm or orchard. This affordable option is great for high-density food farms and ornamental farm operations.
In France, John Deere has been experimenting with larger tractors which combines the electric and hybrid technology. The day is coming when the American farmer will be able to reduce their bottom line by reducing fuel costs without sacrificing reliability. These new machines will be intended to last like their diesel cousins but with fewer moving parts to break down. The new generation of John Deere may last multiple generations, reducing the overall need for equipment financing and increasing profits, helping farms to eliminate up to 30 percent of debt over a 100-year period.
I have never seen it until this year but some farmers are using aircrafts to seed in cover crops. This practice is over a 10-year period may increase profits by reducing the need for chemicals and labor.
Home Care- Here are some other things you can do to prepare for colder temperatures:
• Now is the time to buy winter window plastic kits online before prices go up when it’s colder. Installing new door sweeps is a cheap way to save on your heating bill this winter as well.
• Replace furnace filters.
• Apply mouse bait bars under your home as the mice will be looking for food and warmer living conditions.
• Clean your gutters and built-in gutters to prevent water damage to your home. Install downspout runs as well to move the water away from the home.
• Remember even if you do not own your home, the home you are in may be the home you live in for decades to come. So even if you rent, repairs and improvements ensure that you continue to have a home for years to come. Save your receipts as a good landlord should gladly reimburse you with a rent credit for taking the time and money to take some ownership.