Gardening Tasks in Autumn
St. Francis is the patron saint to all who love nature, especially birds and small animals. Give the birds a special treat and corn for the squirrels.
Poison Ivy – Dig and spray before foliage turns wonderful fall colors. Cover your hands and any exposed skin with Dawn Ultra (antibacterial), let it dry, and when you finish wash the Dawn off.
- HYDRANGEA – Prune back Annabelle hydrangeas no more than every third year and then when the blooms turn brown. If stems are leggy and weak cut back only to 18” give support to spring growth.
- BULBS – Plant tulips 12” deep or three times its height depending on the bulb. The deeper hole will increase the number of years the bulbs will continue their original size. If it is a new bed, plant daffodils this year and other subsequent years and daffodils exude a toxin squirrels and other rodents don’t like. It is a good idea to always wear gloves when gardening especially if sensitive to lilies(any member of the family).
- Houseplants – Protect houseplants outdoors when temperatures drop below 50 overnight. Bring them inside between the time the air-conditioning is turned off and heat turned on. Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti need to remain until the night temperatures are consistently 50 or less, in order to set their buds. Protect indoors plants by isolating those coming indoors, especially recently purchased plants.
- Lawn – Pick up branches, twigs and toys before mowing. They can be dangerous projectiles. Make sure small children are not in the yard and do not hold them while mowing or riding back to the storage area.
- Vegetables – When spent plants are removed, compost those not diseased and take a soil sample to your Extension agent to test what it is lacking. Do not save seeds from hybrid plants as this year’s seeds will not come back true and do not carry the resistance of their parents.