Inland Northwest, High Desert
Pressing Fall Leaves
Here\'s a great activity to do with your kids. As the leaves turn ever brighter each day, snip some off and press them in a phone book. They should need only about two weeks in a weighted-down phone book before they\'re ready to be art. Take them out, mount them on paper, and frame them to remind you of the glorious colors of autumn.
Smoke Affects Bees and Apples
The bees aren't busy and the apples aren't rosy in the northern parts of our region this year. It's due to the smoke from all our forest fires. The honey crop is only about a quarter of normal as a result, and apples aren't turning and ripening because they can't see the sun. There's nothing you can do except hope for fewer fires and clear weather.
The southern reaches of our region have enjoyed bumper crops this year, but so have the bugs. Thrips have been particularly bad on onions. These crops are finished for the season, so there's little to do now. But next year if you see these tiny pests, just wash them off. Meanwhile, hope for a dry fall. Cold, wet weather this fall could mean more thrips next spring.
Cut back on your watering by half as the weather gets cooler. It will only be a matter of days until the first frost comes. After the frost, cut back on watering even more. Reducing watering is a good way to help plants toughen up for the coming winter cold and winds. Too much water in fall can also promote root rotting.
Last Cut for Roses
Last call for roses. Cut what you need for bouquets, dried blooms, and potpourri, and don't cut any more. Let the flowers wither, and gently pull the petals off with your hands for drying. Enjoy the beautiful hips that will come. The hips will help send a message to the plants to harden off, so leave those on the bush.