There are a number of reasons to plant a vegetable garden in the fall. Vegetables grown this time of year are primarily root crops and greens, which means you can grow them in the ground or in containers. There are fewer weeds and bugs to contend with in the fall. None of these crops require special attention, such as staking or caging. Most of these crops don’t need a full 8 hours of sun, which means you can grow spinach or lettuce in pots on your patio even if it starts to get shady in the late afternoon. There is a wide variety of vegetables to grow now, including beets, carrots, kale, chard, radishes, spinach, cabbage and broccoli. Planting starts reduces the amount of time to harvest. Getting ready for planting cool weather crops is much the same as it is in spring. As always, soil quality is one of the key factors to your success.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
With their showy spring flowers, bearded iris are one of those “must have” plants for your garden. Iris are generally low maintenance plants season after season, but over time they can become crowded and they stop producing as many blooms. That’s an indication they need to be divided and the time to dig and divide iris is now. The best tool to use to dig iris roots – called rhizomes, is a spading fork. Spading forks make it easy to get under and lift the rhizome without causing damage to the roots. Once you’ve got the clump of iris out of the ground, you’ll be able to see the rhizomes clearly. You’ll want to remove any old or diseased rhizomes.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Late July into August is the time many garden diseases, such as powdery mildew, black spot and Sulfur, Neem oil, Serenade and Green Cure are organic fungicides available to you for use in your garden.
Sulfur is a broad spectrum fungicide with an added benefit of controlling mites and thrip. This is important because insect activity can move diseases from plant to plant.
This liquid sulfur is listed with the Organic Material Review Board (OMRI) for use in organic gardens.
Serenade contains Bacillus subtilis, a soil-dwelling bacterium that controls powdery mildew, leaf blight and many other leaf diseases.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
It’s not only what you plant but how you care for your plants that encourages blooming through the season. Now is the time for a mid-season clean up in your garden. You need to look at beds and borders, containers and hanging baskets with a critical eye. Keeping your garden looking its best means removing fading and spent flowers, as well as cleaning up leaves, branches and debris. Most annuals and perennials do their best when you remove fading blooms early, before they begin to form seeds. In gardening terms it’s called deadheading, which simply means pruning off the old flowers. This keeps the garden neat and promotes additional blooms as well. Get in the habit of deadheading while you walk through your garden. It’s easy to carry a pair of light pruners with you as you make your rounds. Stems and leaves can get damaged or wear out through the course of the season. Now’s the time to remove them. The lower parts of veronica and salvia can really look bad this time of year. Prune them hard and they will come back strong by fall.