Gardening This Weekend: September 26, 2019
It’s time to tend to your fall gardening activities. Here are the most critical tasks among them.
• Dig and divide iris, daylilies, Shasta daisies, coneflowers and other spring-flowering perennials now. If you have extras, give them to friends, plant them into new beds or discard them. Don’t replant them into the same old spaces by overcrowding them.
• Buy and plant the best quality daffodils, jonquils, narcissus, grape hyacinths and summer snowflakes. Small and early-flowering daffodils have the best chance of coming back year after year. Large, late-flowering hybrids aren’t as good. Two long-proven winners are Ice Follies and Carlton.
• Tulips and Dutch hyacinths should be bought now, but put into the refrigerator (not the freezer) for at least 45 days at 45F. Plant them in the second half of December.
• Ryegrass seed to overseed or for temporary cover of bare ground in winter now. Annual rye seed is less expensive, but perennial rye is easier to maintain. Both die out with the hot weather of May.
• Perennials to remove dead stalks and seedheads.
• Errant shoots from shrubs and vines. Save major reshaping for late winter, just before new growth commences in spring.
• Dead or damaged branches from shade trees before winter winds, ice and snow can bring them down.
• Lawn, shrubs, groundcovers and annual flowers with high-quality, all-nitrogen lawn food containing up to half of its nitrogen in slow-release form. This feeding is critical to the vigor of your lawn and landscape.
• Continue feeding patio pots and hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food to keep them vigorous and growing actively.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Many trees are showing leaf spots, leaf browning and leaf drop. As late as it is in the season there is no reason to be concerned.
• Monitor houseplants that will be coming indoors or into a greenhouse to be sure they are free of insect pests. Should any be detected treat while they’re still outside.
• If you have St. Augustine, brown patch is likely to be appearing within the next couple of weeks. Watch for round areas of yellowing blades, usually in 18- to 24-inch circles. Apply a labeled fungicide, and discontinue evening waterings the rest of the growing season.