Fall is really here, at least by the calendar. I have been reading and listening to the weather gurus and this is the most unusual season since I have been gardening. The past spring and summer broke many records, and not to our advantage. We received two inches of rain last week. I took advantage of the moisture and fertilized the lawn with a liquid lawn food called Hasta-gro-lawn. It gave it a good boost. Next week I’ll feed with a granule organic fertilizer. This October, feeding will be the most important fertilizing of the year. It will protect the roots of the trees, lawns, and shrubs through the winter.
We can’t know if we will have moisture to plant our fall gardens, but there are still chores that we must do before winter sets in.
1. Begin moving house plants inside. Some will need to be cut back, re-potted, checked for insects and disease, and treated if necessary.
2. Plant onion seed 1015 y, Grano 502, Granex, or Burgundy. These are sweet onions. The onion transplants will be in stores soon. The y should also be planted this month.
3. Plant container-grown trees, shrubs, and perennials. Their roots will have time to become established before summer.
4. Begin to divide iris and daylilies. This can be done through November.
5. Make cuttings of tender plants before frost.
6. Seed wildflowers. If you don’t have your seed, check or visit Wildseed Farms; it is an interesting place to spend a day. The seed must come in contact with the soil. Pray for rain.
7. Plant additional plantings of parsley, radishes, spinach, greens, and carrots.
8. Overseed bare spots in the lawn with annual ryegrass; it helps to keep your lawn soil from eroding.
9. Add extra mulch to gardens, trees, and shrubs. It keeps down weeds and helps with the moisture.
Keep row cover nearby for new seedlings and transplants in case of a surprise freeze.