Well, pumpkin spice coffee has arrived, the news is talking about the official end of summer, the days are getting shorter as the sun is setting earlier each day. Labor Day is nearing, and September is here now.
A wise man once told me, as you get older, the time goes faster. This is one of the truest statements I can remember. It seemed it was just spring, then lots of days of warm weather happened and summer slipped away. The kids are planning to go back to school, hopefully, and fall is around the corner.
This means the clock is ticking as to summer chores. I have outlined 8 things to do in the next two weeks before it is too late.
Pruning: If you have been waiting to shear, prune or trim your plants, you have till September the 15th to do so.... After that, you must wait till a hard killing freeze before you can trim again. Trimming actually initiates new growth, so trimming after mid-September will not allow sufficient time for new growth to "harden off" before the frost and freezes arrive. If this does happen, it will not harm your plants, but merely stunt them a little till next year.
Fertilize Your Yard: Lawns need it more than ever after a rough year with excessive rains this summer, weeds that would not stop and extremely hot days mixed in here and there. Many nutrients have leached out of the soil. An application of a good fall food of our golf green fertilizer will really help repair damage that has been done in the roots of the lawn. It is also a great time to overseed your lawn as warm nights and cool days allow seed to germinate rapidly. Weeds are also slow to emerge now so new seedlings won't lose the battle for water and sunlight to these adversaries.
Feed Your Shrubs and Perennials: September and October are THE time plants really establish themselves by growing more roots. An application of Espoma brand Holly-tone or Plant-tone will reap huge rewards in keeping plants thriving in your landscape. Espoma offers a balanced slow-release organic feed that provides 15 of the 18 essential nutrients for plants to be their best. Sunlight, water and air is all that is missing from that bag.
Inspect For Damage on Plants: Holes in the leaves are a sign that insects are active. If you find some chewing, scraping or something out of the ordinary on your plants, grab a sample or picture and head down to see your local experts at the garden center. We can help you and offer a curative pest control product that can help get your plants back to full health.
Spray For Weeds: This has got to be one of the worst years for weeds! A summer full of rain has had every major weed germinate like crazy. Using Killzall or Weed Free Zone in the landscape and spraying weeds now will stop weeds dead in their tracks. It's also a great time to spray weeds in the lawn. An application of Triclopyr Ester now combined with a Spreader Sticker will help eradicate hard to kill weeds in the lawn like clover, wild violets, ground ivy and a long list of others. It's the best time to treat these weeds now as the chemical enters the leaves and translocate through the roots killing the weed.
Prune your macrophylla hydrangeas (The ones with round flowers) Now: I know it may be tough to take the shears to some flowers that still look good, but if you want your plants smaller than their current size, the end of August is the time to trim. This way it gives the plant a long enough time to set flower buds for next season (if we do not get a late killing frost). Many people are befuddled why their hydrangeas do not bloom and improper timing of pruning is one of the reasons.
Get Your Pest Control Products While You still can: I hate to sound like an alarmist but every time I turn around, I hear another story about this and that being in short supply and prices continuing to rise due to inflation. The uncertainty of freight rates, lack of employees making products etc. It's the same old song and dance we have been hearing for the last two and a half years. I finally heard some GOOD news from a supplier. Freight from China has actually dropped, and they are reducing their surcharge 3%. The first reduction I have heard of! Let's keep our fingers crossed things will be headed down in price moving forward.
Mums have been brought up for sale in our greenhouse departments. Although they are not blooming yet, they will be in the next few weeks! Time is moving whether you like it or not. Take a moment and walk through that garden, literally stop and smell the roses. You will be glad you did!! Thanks for reading!!