There are a few things you can do to get your garden planting ready.
Water, Water, WATER!
We talk about it in every newsletter yet we still have lots to say. The temperature is cooling down a little but daily watering remains the standard. Over and over, we hear of people who water several times a day for short periods of time. They are confident this is the best way to water. In fact, there is never enough water to reach the root ball. WATER IS NOT MEASURED IN TIME; IT IS MEASURED IN GALLONS. While the weather remains hot, water one time a day to fully saturate the roots of whatever it is you are watering. It’s important.
All summer we have advised that you refrain from any heavy pruning in the garden to prevent sun burn; your garden may be looking a little overgrown. Late September early October is a GREAT time to get the pruners out and do some shaping but be careful not to over-prune. So many times, we see shrubs and trees trimmed to within an inch of their life after the long summer. Aside from not being healthy for the plants, the natural aesthetic disappears. Proper pruning is a year round commitment and does not evolve from once a year pruning.
Mulch vs Fertilizer.
There is a difference between MULCH and FERTILIZER. Mulch is spread over the soil’s surface to be used as a covering. It helps retain water, suppress weeds, reduce erosion, cool roots AND it looks good. This is a great time to work the mulch into the soil in preparation for fall planting. Mulch does not provide nutrients–that is the job of fertilizer. Fertilizers supply food or energy to plants. Fertilizers are best applied at the time of planting and afterwards, not before as it gets washed away with daily water. This is a great time to get your established plants back on a regular fertilizing schedule now that the heat of summer is behind us.
Summer brings all kinds of critters to the garden. Leaf minor, bud worms, mealy bug and scale are but a few of the opportunistic pests that attempt to overtake the yard during the long, hot summer. Early fall is a great time to treat citrus trees with Captain Jack’s–an organic pest spray used to fight leaf minor and thrip. Bougainvillea generally never have pest problems but this year we have seen a lot of bud worm issues. Both mealy bugs and scale can appear as a result of water stress. Please come into Moller’s and speak with one of our associates about any pest problems you may have. Be sure to bring us leaf samples.
To scalp or not to scalp.
Fall brings the age old tradition of over-seeding the lawn. Have you noticed a change in the process over the last few years?? What used to be an overnight process, spewing countless allergens into the atmosphere is now a gradual process.