Mid-Atlantic

October, 2010
Regional Report

Apply Compost and Lime to Lawn

A light autumn application of compost will show benefits to your lawn next spring and summer. If your lawn is too acidic, now's also the time to apply lime, according to bag directions. Applying before a rain would help materials to dissolve somewhat. Both materials take time and microbes to break down small enough to be useful to plants.

Store Liquid Garden Products Indoors

I have leftover kelp concentrate, horticultural oil and Neem insecticide. I know the first two won't deteriorate if kept till next spring; am taking a chance the Neem will hold its effectiveness too. It's time to collect and store them in the basement, before there's a surprise freeze. Some garden products have a "use by" date - a limited shelf-life because of living microbes or chemical composition. Note the storage and disposal information and recommendations on their containers.

Flame Weed

Pull the tall weeds. Flame weed the small weeds. In one neglected courtyard garden, we filled several paper lawn debris bags with large, easy-to-pull weeds. The obvious gone, we were dismayed to find a layer of small, two-leafed Rose-of-Sharon sprouts. Flame weeder in hand, I carefully moved the rod near enough to singe the seedlings, yet not damage nearby shrubs and perennial clusters.

Rake Out Dead Rhodie, Azalea and Rose Leaves

Brown, yellow, mottled, spotted, and tan leaves that drop from the above shrubs can carry fungi, insect eggs. Best to remove them - rake and dispose of in lawn debris bags, not the compost pile. Out of site/sight, they have no opportunity to infest shrubs in spring.

Deadhead Fall Perennials

Prune off the dead flowers on their stems from Anemone japonica, Lobelia cardinalis, Heuchera villosa, spent asters, floppy sedums, and other late-blooming perennials. Leave green foliage - basal at the crown and lateral along healthy stems- to feed the plant until it freezes and dies back.

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