October is here and that really marks the end of summer. There are many outdoor jobs that simply must be accomplished right now. Your yard needs the final Weed and Feed or just plain Lawn Fertilizer applied to rid your yard of pesky weeds that will surely show up next spring. Broadleaf weeds (dandelions included) are best treated in the fall while plants are young, not after they toughen up and build strength though a cold winter. Remember to apply in the morning while the dew is on the ground.
Got any shrubs that still need to be trimmed? Get this job done as soon as possible. Cutting back evergreens should be done in June/July, not the late fall. Get this job accomplished by the weekend, the weather is in your favor.
Be sure to check on-line or with a qualified nurseryman about pruning certain flowering shrubs as many of them develop their flower buds in the fall for next spring flowering. Cutting those back at the wrong time would mean no flowers next spring. And if you need to prune back any tree limbs, do it now or you can put this job off for a few weeks longer.
Bugs and diseases should be addressed also. Leaves that turn yellow may simply be a sign of autumn and may be of no concern. However, diseased foliage is another matter. Diseases can linger from year to year and so it is important to address these issues now. Prune back branches to remove the foliage (it’s going to fall off anyway due to autumn) and rake or sweep or shop-vac any diseased leaves from off the ground. Fall clean up is important. It’s too late to spray insecticide on outdoor plants (unless you are going to bring them inside) for the winter. I must caution against bringing in outdoor perennials for the winter, as they really need to stay outside. The use of dormant oil (or summer oil) is necessary for trees with scale or spruce and pine trees that had experienced mites or bagworms.
Cleaning up the gardens is an easy process too. Simply cut up all of your stems (especially the thicker harder ones) into smaller pieces than till them under along with any fertilizers you may have left over (none with weed killers) and add in some lime and/or bone meal. Look for bargains at the markets on peat, top and potting soils; manure or mushroom composts and blend them all together.
Put away garden hoses or at least disconnect them from your faucets and clean your tools before putting them into storage. Spray the metal parts with WD40 or some equivalent.
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