THINGS TO DO – autumn

Last week marked 60 years since Rachel Carson wrote “Silent Spring”” in which she promoted using cultural methods to control insects saying they were far more effective in the long run than spraying pesticides.

  • Stink bug(Halyomorpha halys) invasion has begun. They do not bite, lay eggs, or stain, but if disturbed, they will stink. Do not vacuum. Using a tissue, gently pick up and flush or remove to outdoors. Seal up cracks around windows and doors.
  • Garden – Heat and low humidity quickly dry out container plants, especially those in porous containers. As rain is not predicted this week, it is important to soak container plants at least once a week. During the week check on soil moisture to a depth of 1.5” and water as needed. Inverted water-filled drink bottles into the soil will provide slow-released moisture.   
  • Houseplants – Prepare enough space for plants returning for the winter. Wash containers and both sides of foliage using horticulture soap. Use horticulture oil to treat insects and repeat as needed. Isolate plants that have resided on the ground or hard surface as they may bring in insects in their soil. When the house temperature rises, insects will hatch. Inspect frequently.
  • Trees – Dr. Rick Durham, UK Extension specialist, reminds us that during a drought, trees and shrubs require deeper watering and more often than normal. Shallow watering forces roots to the surface where they dry out faster. Durham advises to water the plant’s entire root zone (from trunk extending to the drip line – to 1’ beyond) using a hose nozzle that produces a finer spray of droplets that soak more easily into the soil. Birch, tulip poplars, pin oaks and silver maples may require up to 3” a week. For more information request ID-89 How Dry Season Affects Wood Plants from your local Extension Service.
  • Vegetables – Order berry bushes to plant now.
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