I can hardly remember a fall like we are having, except in West Texas where I was raised. It’s just wonderful. I wasn’t going to put in a garden this fall, but I’ve changed my mind; I’m adding compost to all of the plants that made it through the summer, re-potting many pot plants that will need to come inside for the winter, fertilizing the lawn, trees, and shrubs and extending flower and shrub beds. We are moving the rock edging out about 1.5 feet from the existing flower beds. It is amazing how much grass area that the new edging takes in. Bob, my husband, took the weed-eater and removed the grass down to the soil. Use a garden fork, small tiller, or your favorite digging tool, add compost to the new area and mix it together, smooth the new area, and plant new plants or cover with mulch. This is a good place to add plants that need to be divided from different parts of the garden.
This year, the deer have eaten plants that they usually leave alone. Try a product called Bob X repellant, and spray around the fence line and garden area. It will be necessary to spray every 30 days. Several professional growers have used this with good results.
Q: What is the sticky stuff that gets on the sidewalks and cars under the pecan trees?
A: This is caused by aphids. Fire ants bring the aphids. The aphids secrete a honey-dew that the ants eat. The air pollution causes the leaves to turn black. There isn’t a lot you can do except buy ladybugs and place them around the trees or, if you have a power washer that will reach any height, spray with a hard stream of water. At this time of the year, the aphids will only last another 3-4 weeks. Note: Aphids come in many colors - brown, orange, tan, etc. You can have aphids on any plant, especially the new tender growth.
October is the month to plant garlic, onions, seed beets, carrots, turnips, collards, transplant cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, leaf lettuce, and Swiss chard. You should have time to plant summer squash and bush beans before our frost begins.