dragonflyF15's WunderBlog

Happy Labor Day weekend and tidbits

By: dragonflyF15, 1:44 AM GMT on August 31, 2011

Ornamentals:
-Plant evergreens now.
-Herbs such as parsley, rosemary, chives, thyme and marjoram can be dug from the garden and placed in pots now for growing indoors.
-Cuttings of annuals can be taken now to provide vigorous plants for overwintering.
-Except tulips, spring bulbs may be planted as soon as they are available. Tulips should be kept in a cool, dark place and planted in late October.
-Begin readying houseplants for winter indoors. Prune back rampant growth and protruding roots. Check for pests and treat if necessary. Houseplants should be brought indoors at least one month before the heat is normally turned on.
-Perennials, especially spring bloomers, can be divided now. Enrich the soil with peat moss or compost before replanting.
-Lift gladiolus when their leaves yellow. Cure in an airy place until dry before husking.
-Divide peonies now. Replant in a sunny site and avoid planting deeply.
-Poinsettias can be forced into bloom for Christmas if they are moved indoors now to a sunny windowsill. Each night, they must be kept in a cool, dark place where there is no light for 14 hours. This must continue until proper color is achieved in 6-10 weeks.

Lawns:

-If soils become dry, established lawns should be watered thoroughly to a depth of 4-6 inches.
-Cool season lawns are best fertilized in fall. Make up to 3 applications between now and December. Do not exceed rates recommended by fertilizer manufacturer.
-Begin fall seeding or sodding of cool season grasses. Seedbeds should be raked, dethatched or core-aerified, fertilized and seeded. Keep newly planted lawn areas moist, but not wet.
-Newly seeded lawns should not be cut until they are at least 2 or 3 inches tall.
-Cool season lawns are best fertilized in the fall. Make up to 3 applications between now and December Do not exceed rates recommended by fertilizer manufacturer.
-Lawns may be topdressed with compost or milorganite now. This is best done after aerifying.
-It is not uncommon to see puffballs in lawn areas at this time.

Vegetables:

-Egyptian (top-setting) onions can be divided and replanted now.
-Sowing seeds of radish, lettuce, spinach and other greens in a cold frame will prolong fall harvests.
-Keep broccoli picked regularly to encourage additional production of side shoots.
-Pinch out the top of Brussels sprout plants to plump out the developing sprouts.
-Harvest herbs now to freeze or dry for winter use.
-Tie leaves around cauliflower heads when they are about the size of a golf ball.
-Pinch off any young tomatoes that are too small to ripen. This will channel energy into ripening the remaining full-size fruits.
-Sow spinach now to overwinter under mulch for spring harvest.

Fruit:

-Pick pears before they are fully mature. Store in a cool, dark basement to ripen.
-Bury or discard any spoiled fallen fruits.
-Paw paws ripen in the woods now.
-Check all along peach tree trunks to just below soil line for gummy masses caused by borers. Probe holes with thin wire to puncture borers

Miscellaneous:

-Autumn is a good time to add manure, compost or leaf mold to garden soils for increasing organic matter content.
-Monitor plants for spider mite activity. Reduce their numbers by hosing off with a forceful spray of water.
-Seasonal loss of inner needles on conifers is normal at this time. It may be especially noticeable on pines.
-Soon our beloved hummingbirds will be heading out for migration, so keep those feeders full and fresh for the long journey!
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While many fruits and vegetables are available year-round, most are at their peak during specific seasons. Shoppers at your local Farmer's Market and grocery stores, look for these items to be in season for Fall:
Acorn Squash
Apples
Belgian Endive
Butternut Squash
Cauliflower
Figs
Garlic
Ginger
Grapes
Mushrooms
Parsnips
Pears
Pomegranate
Pumpkin
Quince
Sweet Potatoes
Swiss Chard

Hope everyone had a great summer harvest and Happy Gardening!

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August starts off hot!

By: dragonflyF15, 7:15 AM GMT on August 09, 2011

It has been quite hot out there and I've been meltin'! Got your to do list for zones 4-6 and hope you all are finding ways to stay cool! Fortunately this week we got a break from the 100's!

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Ornamentals:
-Annuals may appear leggy and worn now. These can be cut back hard and fertilized to produce a new flush of bloom.
-Continue spraying roses that are susceptible to black spot and other fungus diseases.
-Deadhead annuals & perennials as needed.
-Feed mums, asters and other fall-blooming perennials for the last time.
-Prune to shape hedges for the last time this season.
-Divide oriental poppies now.
-Divide bearded Iris now. Discard old center sections, and borer damaged parts. Replant so tops of rhizomes are just above ground level.
-Madonna lilies, bleedingheart (Dicentra) and bloodroot (Sanguinaria) can be divided and replanted.
-Powdery mildew on lilacs is unsightly, but causes no harm and rarely warrants control, though common rose fungicides will prove effective.
-Roses should receive no further nitrogen fertilizer after August 15th.
-Order bulbs now for fall planting.
-If you want to grow big dahlia flowers, keep side shoots pinched off and plants watered and fertilized regularly.
-Evergreens can be planted or transplanted now to ensure good rooting before winter arrives. Water both the plant and the planting site several days before moving.

Lawns:
-Zoysia lawns can receive their final fertilizer application now.
-Apply insecticides now for grub control on lawns being damaged by their activity.
-Lawns scheduled for renovation this fall should be killed with Roundup now. Have soil tested to determine fertility needs.
-Verify control of lawn white grubs from earlier insecticide applications.
-Dormant lawns should be soaked now to encourage strong fall growth.

Vegetables:
-Compost or till under residues from harvested crops.
-Cure onions in a warm, dry place for 2 weeks before storing.
-Sow seeds of beans, beets, spinach & turnips now for the fall garden. Spinach may germinate better if seeds are refrigerated for one week before planting.
-Broccoli, cabbage & cauliflower transplants should be set out now for the fall garden.
Begin planting lettuce and radishes for fall now.
-Pinch the growing tips of gourds once adequate fruit set is achieved. This directs energy into ripening fruits, rather than vine production.

Fruits:
-Prop up branches of fruit trees that are threatening to break under the weight of a heavy crop.
-Continue to spray ripening fruits to prevent brown rot fungus.
-Protect ripening fruits from birds by covering plants with a netting.
-Thornless blackberries are ripening now.
-Watch for fall webworm activity now.
-Cultivate strawberries. Weed preventers can be applied immediately after fertilizing.
-Sprays will be necessary to protect late peaches from oriental fruit moth damage.
-Fall-bearing red raspberries are ripening now.
-Spray peach and other stone fruits now to protect against peach tree borers.

Miscellaneous:
-Once bagworms reach full size, insecticides are ineffective. Pruning off and burning large bags provides better control.
-Soak shrubs periodically during dry spells with enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of 8-10 inches.
-Spray black locust trees now to protect against damage by the locust borer.
-Hummingbirds are migrating through gardens now.
-Watch Scotch & Austrian pines now for Zimmerman pine moth damage. Yellowing or browning of branch tips and presence of pitch tubes near leaf whorls are indicative. Prune and destroy infected parts.
-Monitor plants for spider mite activity. Hose these pests off with a forceful spray of water.
-2nd generation pine needle scale crawlers may be present on Mugo pine now.
-Clean out cold frames to prepare for fall use.

Don't grow your own or want to find fresh stuff from your local farmers? Check out these farmer's market in the Missouri area at http://agebb.missouri.edu/fmktdir/ See what is being harvested and when at http://agebb.missouri.edu/fmktdir/harvest.htm Not from Missouri, well here you go http://www.fieldtoplate.com/guide.php

It's been really hot out there this month, so be sure to give those plants some extra TLC and don't forget the shrubs and trees. Too many times they get overlooked as being low maintenance once they get established. However, when under stress, just like us humans, is the time disease and pests will attack.

While sitting around a campfire in 100 heat index evenings may not sound ideal, there are still plenty of places to check out in nature. Take a float trip. Get too hot, jump in the water, especially if you are on a river with lots of springs feeding in. Take a hike to Devil's Icebox at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park less than 90minutes from STL. Feel like taking it easy out there? Try a class at Shaw Nature Reserve http://www.shawnature.org/August.aspx Or go fishing down in the Arcadia Valley Region full of oak and hickory forests, flowing rivers and numerous lakes and streams. Stay connected!

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The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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About dragonflyF15

40yrOld Horticulturist,which means I'm a plant/tree/shrub Geek.My work revolves around Mother N and weather.I love working,playing,resting outdoors!

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