With the onset of summer, the garden may seem to fade into the background. But there is still a lot of work underground, so this is not the time to take a break.
For starters, your plants still need water. Although their thirst will wane as temperatures drop, perennials, trees, and shrubs in cooler regions actually require additional water in early fall to help them prepare for (and successfully emerge from) dormancy.
In cooler regions, plant tulips for a dash of fall color. They will die during the winter but will bloom again next spring until the summer heat blows them away. In warmer regions, pansies will do just fine as long as winter temperatures don’t rise above 80 degrees.
Add other seasonal blooms to your garden or containers, too. Chrysanthemums, asters, cabbage, and colorful garnishes are good choices.
People also read…
You can also start planting bulbs. In areas that experience freezing winter, this means hardy areas such as tulips, muscari, daffodils, crocuses, lilies, snowdrops, and snow glory. In the south, consider amaryllis, caladiums, calla lilies, cannas, daffodils, dahlias, elephant ears, tulips, and tuberous begonias.
Those who are gardening in southern parts of the United States, such as southern Texas and Florida, can grow another round of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
There is no need to extract degraded crops if they are still producing. Take as many of them as you can until they die on their own, then remove plant debris.
Growing a cover crop such as alfalfa or rye in vacant vegetable beds will help suppress weeds, control erosion, and add nutrients to the soil. Come spring, just turn the ground over and plant your next garden. With that said, avoid using cover legume crops in beds where you plan to grow legumes such as beans or peas.
Get rid of diseased plants in the trash and start composting a compost pile with healthy plant parts. Create layers of fresh materials such as kitchen scraps of fruit and vegetables, grass clippings, weeds that haven’t gone to seed, coffee grounds, cornstarch for packing peanuts, horse manure, and rabbit and bird droppings. Replace with dry things like leaves, twigs, shredded paper, and straw (never include cat litter, dog feces, fat, meat, dairy, or other animal products).
To speed the decomposition process, sprinkle a little nitrogen over each layer and keep the pile slightly moist, turning it over every now and then with a pitchfork. By next summer, you will be able to enrich your soil with “black gold”.
To prepare for spring planting, test the soil pH now and add amendments such as lime, if specific, and compost, which will work deep into the ground during the winter.
Avoid fertilizing everywhere except in the South, where some weeds may benefit from an early fall application of a slow-release product. But respect local fertilizer restrictions to protect the ecosystem and prevent waste (and possibly fines). During the rainy season in the south, for example, nitrogen is likely to be washed through the soil into groundwater; In the north, cooling temperatures prevent the uptake of fertilizers, which can also leach into the groundwater there.
Both scenarios pollute our precious resources and waste money, because unabsorbed fertilizer will not benefit your garden or your plants, anyway.
Southern gardeners should feed citrus trees now, but not during rainy weather. Use a slow-release product to provide long-lasting nutrients and avoid leaching and runoff.
Rejuvenate the lawn, but aerate it first. Seed once a week and water lightly every day until they are 3 inches long.
Transplant and divide spring and early summer perennials and ground covers, but don’t disturb the late-season blooms until spring.
Autumn is the time to plant trees and shrubs. In cold regions, it is best to wait until the trees in your area have shed their leaves. Water well and put mulch.
Cool season crops, such as beets, radishes, greens, and broccoli, can be grown in many temperate climates now.
Finally, do your future self a favor and stay on top of the weeds. Pulling them by their roots before setting seed will dramatically reduce their numbers next year.
You will thank yourself in the spring.
Jessica Damiano writes regular gardening columns for the Associated Press. Her gardening calendar was named a winner in the 2021 International Garden Communicators Awards. Its dirt weekly newsletter won the PCLI Society of Professional Journalists Media Award 2021.
5 common diseases in vegetable gardens and how to treat them
You started seeds in spring and watched them germinate, then watered, fertilized, and even cut plants as they grew, while visions of summer salads, grilled vegetables, and homemade pickles danced in your head.
Then one day, black spots, yellow-spotted leaves and mushy bottoms appeared, and your dreams turned into nightmares.
Many home gardeners lovingly take care of their plants only to find them destroyed by unknown forces before harvest time.
But fear not: Here are some tips for identifying and treating five of the most common diseases that threaten your crops.
A fungal disease that affects beans, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peas, peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins and spinach. Anthracnose appears as small leaf spots with yellow halos that gradually darken and spread to cover the entire leaf. In a cucumber plant, foliage may fall off, and entire vines may die. Tomatoes and peppers show dark, sunken spots that become more visible as the fruit ripens. Pea pods are deformed with dark lesions. Round, sunken yellow spots appear on the watermelon, turning dark brown and then black.
To prevent this, try rotating crops, amending the soil with compost before planting, and applying mulch afterward. Look for resistant plant varieties, when available. Avoid overhead watering that wets foliage and stimulates fungal growth. And keep the soil free of infected plant parts and fallen fruit.
Treat infected plants with a fungicide containing chlorothalonil or copper, carefully following the instructions and safety precautions on the package.
flower end rot
Caused by calcium deficiency that mainly affects tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. Characterized by dark, mushy spots on fruit bottoms, the disturbance is usually caused by inconsistent watering, improper soil pH, infected roots or excess nitrogen.
Prevention measures include testing the soil pH before planting. If results are less than 6.3, incorporate dolomite lime into the beds according to label directions.
Avoid damaging the roots by installing stakes and cages around the tomatoes at planting time, rather than when the plants — and roots — are larger. And don’t plant a vegetable garden in or near a lawn that receives fertilizer, which can raise the level of nitrogen in the surrounding soil.
Treat affected plants by misting the leaves with a calcium spray until the product drips. Fruit produced after treatment is usually symptom-free, although a second application is sometimes necessary.
Squash vine borer
Zucchini, squash, cucumber and cantaloupe plants die quickly after blooming, without saying goodbye. But if you look closely, you’ll see tiny holes in the bottoms of stems and stems caused by these pests, which begin their life as a moth that lays eggs at the base of plants. The 1-inch-long white caterpillars follow and burrow into stems, killing plants as they chew on their way out. And just when you think the damage has been done, they remain a cocoon in the soil until the following year, armed and ready to repeat the carnage.
Prevent damage by closely monitoring sensitive plants. Watch out for flat and oval red eggs early in the season and pick them by hand. Keep hunting every week.
And if you find signs of damage such as holes and sawdust-like droppings, use a razor blade to cut open affected stems near the holes and hand-pick diggers. Cover the cracks with potting soil to encourage new root growth.
If necessary, treat plants with Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, a bacterial insecticide (several versions are available; look for the type labeled as a control against squash vine borer).
Verticillium and Fusarium wilt are soil-borne fungal diseases caused by different pathogens that lead to similar symptoms.
The diseases primarily affect eggplant, peppers, potatoes, squash and tomatoes, and damage the roots, resulting in yellow and wilted foliage wrinkling, brown woody texture within the stems and total stunting. Eventually, entire plants wither and die.
This is one instance where a good offense is the only defense: Avoid infection by planting resistant cultivars (check plant tags for V, F, VF, or VFN, and indicators of resistance to vertical wilt, fusarium wilt, and nematodes). Rotate crops by keeping infected beds free of susceptible plant species for three or four years, essentially starving the host disease to remove the pathogen from the soil. Clean up fallen leaves, fruit and plant debris regularly.
Serrated holes, usually in the centers of the leaves rather than the edges, indicate slug damage. Nocturnal gastropods feed on basil, cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and ornamentals like hostas, leaving behind a sticky trail.
Pre-empt slippery miscreants with spring cleaning that removes leaves, plant debris, and slug eggs from the soil surface, and don’t leave the mulch deeper than 3 inches to avoid creating a haven.
Place a small can or jar in the soil around the affected plants, leaving about an inch exposed above the ground, then fill it halfway with beer. Slugs will crawl out for a drink and drown. Alternately, if you’re not squeamish, you can go to the garden at feeding time (overnight) and sprinkle a pinch of salt on each of your little visitors. As their bodies try to relieve the irritant, the slugs will dry up and die. But don’t be attracted to spraying salt around plants. Doing so would risk damaging the soil.
#Dont #stop #gardening #fall #tips #home #garden