Autumn has arrived.
This season's cool weather is a great time to get some winterizing done on your yard and gardens. Here are a few things to consider:
Don't forget to aerate your lawn. Aeration allows the air, water, and nutrients to be absorbed into the soil. It will make it easier keep your lawn looking lush and healthy much longer. And make sure you rake fallen leaves and dried grass off your lawn. You can use a manual rake or electric leaf blower to get the job done. Wet leaves on the ground can trap moisture and result in fungus invasion.
Plant spring bulbs now. A general rule is to plant twice the depth of the bulb in the soil. Make sure to plant the root end down. If you have high rabbit or squirrel populations, consider using more daffodils than tulips or crocus as daffodils are poisonous and will not be eaten or dug up. You can extend your perennial interest by planting clumps of bulbs between late spring, summer or fall blooming perennials.
Dig and store summer-flowering bulbs and tubers. Dig dahlias in the next couple of weeks and remove the stems just above the thick tubers. Store the swollen roots in plastic tubs filled with perlite. Caladiums can also be stored in a plastic tub and covered with perlite. Separate the corms by leaf color and label the tubs carefully. You won't be able to tell which is which next spring without a label. You also need to dig your gladiolus now as well. Allow the soil to dry around the root mass for about a week. Break apart the soil, looking for the small cormels that surround the main corm. Separate them by size and store for the winter in mesh bags kept in a cool spot. The large corms will produce blooms again next summer but it will take a couple of years before the smaller corms grow large enough to make flowers.
You can plant and transplant deciduous trees and shrubs after leaf fall all winter, but consider transplanting broad-leaved and needle-leaved evergreens before October 15. It's a good idea to give the roots plenty of time to grow before a freeze freezing.
Plant pansies and ornamental cabbage and kale for winter color now. This is also the month for lifting and dividing and transplanting perennials such as iris, lily-of-the-valley and daylilies. This is also a great time to plant bare-root roses. But do not prune or fertilize roses this month. Pruning and fertilizing can result in new growth that won't have time to harden off before freezing weather.
Empty pots, birdbaths, and fountains you don't plan to use over winter and store them in a dry, protected area such as a shed or garage. If you are unable to store these items inside, turn over or cover so they do not collect water that can freeze and cause cracking. Reset automatic timers on outdoor lighting when Daylight Savings Time ends. Inspect outdoor lighting fixtures, replacing bulbs if necessary. Also turn off and winterize irrigation systems before first freeze
Don't forget to clean up your tools and store them properly for the winter months. And dispose of any left over pesticides you may have around. The best way to dispose of pesticides is to use them as per the label instructions. So if you have some old weed killer around, make sure it will overwinter in its container or use it up over the next few weeks. If you absolutely need to dispose of unused chemicals, the Georgia EPA recommends soaking unused chemicals into clay kitty litter to make them acceptable to municipal solid waste facilities. An easy way to accomplish this is to pour in the liquid pesticides into a kitty litter product that comes packaged in a gallon jug, then recap the jug and place it in your household garbage.
Precision Lawn Care is doing Aeration and Seasonal Color Now! Call us for help!
October for a Change
In October the weather really begins to change. The leaves are changing colors. We change our clothing by bringing out the long sleeved shirts and putting away the shorts of summer. We also start the month out on the first with "Child Health Day" and end up by filling their tiny little bodies with a boat load of sugar and candy on "Halloween." Go figure.
Monday, Oct 1, 2012 - Child Health Day is not a public holiday but a national observance in the USA. Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first CHD in 1928 as a means to raising awareness and nurturing the commitment to teaching children the benefits of healthy eating along with year round fitness and exercise. This day is set aside to encourage parents and family members to be aware of children's health issues such as child development, child obesity prevention, immunizations, safety, healthy eating, exercising and the prevention of injuries. The Maternal and Child Health Library provides information about nutrition for children and adolescents, the importance of physical activity, and nutrition for pregnant women. Other educational resources for children's health can be found at Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) at HRSA.gov. Here's to healthy kids!!
Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 - Columbus Day is always observed on the second Monday in October. This holiday is for remembering Christopher Columbus and his first voyage to the Americas in 1492. The bank, the post office, governments, and schools often close on this day but most businesses remain open. It is a good day to display the U.S. flag, too. Did you know that Columbus sailed around the Caribbean and landed in South America but never actually touched mainland US? Did you know that his body was moved several times after his death? The Spanish people valued his body so much they finally hid it in Havana, Cuba so the French conquerors could not have it. Recent DNA tests show that the body that had been returned to Seville was actually that of Diego, not Columbus, so his final resting place is still in Cuba! He also did not set out to prove the Earth was round. By his time, everyone already knew it was not flat. There are those who resent that Columbus is credited with "discovering America" since there are remains of a Norse village dating back to about 1003 which was discovered in 1960, meaning the Norse were the first Europeans to set foot in the Americas and actually touch mainland USA.
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 - United Nations Day commemorates the origin of the United Nations Organization on Oct 24, 1945 when the charter was ratified by nearly every permanent member of the UN Security Council. UN Day is often celebrated around the globe and provides an opportunity to display cultural performances and food fairs with food from all over the world. So prepare a little food from many places and have a food fair meal in your own house. Maybe some spaghetti and tacos with Greek salad and German chocolate cake for dessert would be interesting. Enjoy!
Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 - Halloween. What's not to like about the kids dressing up in costumes and giving them as much candy and sweets as they can carry? Well, OK, maybe that is not the best idea but that is usually what people think of when the word "Halloween" is mentioned. Contrary to popular belief, this odd celebration was started by our ancestors as a way to chase away the demons before the celebration of All Hallows Day or Hallowmas on November the first. That is where the word "Halloween," itself, comes from.
The "een" is short for "evening" and the "Hallow" means the holy day to follow that evening. So the word actually means "The evening before All Hallows." The children would test the grownups who could chase away the spirited youngsters by giving them candy and treats. If they got no treat, then they could play a trick which is where the "Trick or Treat?" question comes from. It's your choice to give a sweet or get a prank played on you! In many large cities the old house-to-house trick or treating has been replaced with a big candy give away with games and a fair at the church or neighborhood house. Either way it's fun to dress up and have a good time on Halloween. It is too bad that the evening before has taken over the actual holiday in our consciousness. This year, for continuity, remember those folks who were called saints, on the next day, too. Their lives made a difference in the past, let us remember them, and make a difference in our lives, today.