"In the garden, Autumn is, indeed, the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil.
And at no season, save perhaps in Daffodil time, do we get such superb colour effects as from August to November."
~Rose G. Kingsley, The Autumn Garden, 1905
Flower bulbs are perhaps the easiest of all flowers to plant, grow, and have bloom. It is almost impossible to make a
mistake planting bulbs because all the nutrients the flowers need to bloom are already stored inside the bulb before you buy them.
However, to keep your bulbs healthy year after year requires a little more time and care. The most important steps for
planting and keeping bulbs healthy are:
- Prepare the soil before planting
- Choose healthy bulbs
- Plan your design
- Plant bulbs properly
- Take care of your bulbs properly after they finish blooming.
- The hardest part about planting bulbs is deciding which bulbs you like best, and knowing when to stop buying more bulbs.
Please download our Planting Fall Bulbs for more information.
Trees are dropping their leaves and it is important to prevent leaves from laying on your lawn very long. Leaves will
shade the grass and can even kill the lawn during the winter. In addition, leaf cover stimulates a winter lawn disease known as
snow mold. The easiest way to dispose of these unwanted leaves is to simply mow them, bag them, and use them as compost
in your gardens. Continue to mow your lawn at 1.5" to 2" long until the last time you mow your lawn for the year; then cut
it as short as your lawn mower will go.
Many lawn weeds are either dead, or they are starting to die right now. Crabgrass, foxtail and spurge all start to grow in
the summer. They produce seeds and then die in the fall. However, perennial weeds are still growing, such as dandelions,
morning glory, and clover. Bonide Weedbeater Ultra is a good spray to kill these types of weeds in your lawn. Weedbeater
Ultra will not kill any of the 'grassy-type' weeds; it just kills the 'broadleaf-type' weeds including Oxalis. Oxalis is the
weed that looks like a small reddish-purple clover, and it has yellow flowers. Oxalis has been a huge problem this summer
in many lawns.
It is very hard to control the grassy weeds (crabgrass, foxtail grass, watergrass, barnyard grass, etc.) in the fall. If you
have these types of grassy weeds, just remove as many as possible, to reduce the amount of seeds for next year.
Control in the spring to prevent these types of weeds. If you have both grassy weeds and spurge, you may need to
apply Crabgrass Control twice next year: once in mid-to-late April; and again in mid-to-late June. Most crabgrass controls
only last 60 to 90 days.
October is usually a good time to fertilize your lawn. However, you may want to postpone your winter fertilization until
mid to late-November if the weather stays hot and dry. Fertilizer stimulates grass to grow faster, which in turn makes the
lawn require more water. A fertilized lawn will struggle and turn brown faster in the fall than a non-fertilized lawn, unless a
consistent source of water is available.
Fertilize your lawn with either J&L Fall & Winter Lawn Food or Dr. Earth Lawn Fertilizer as soon as mother nature
starts supplying a consistent source of water for your lawn this fall, or even this winter. Apply your fall and winter fertilizer
right on top of a light snow, and it will be watered in for you.
Don't fertilize roses in the fall. Roses need time to 'harden off' before winter arrives. Roses growing too fast in the fall
have new, 'soft' growth. This 'soft' growth is prone to winter injury while the older, 'hard' growth will tolerate the winter
Reduce the amount of water you apply to your roses this fall, again to help them 'harden off' before winter arrives.
Don't pick rose flowers any more this fall. Let the blossoms mature into rose hips. Hip formation also helps the rose bush
to 'harden off' for winter.
Prune your rose canes (except climbing roses and shrub roses) down to three or four feet high after the leaves completely
freeze this winter. The only reason to prune roses in the fall is to prevent the snow from breaking the canes.
Wait until spring
to do your major rose pruning and shaping. In the spring, after the danger of frost is past, prune your roses to 14" to 20" tall.
Mulch your roses to protect the roots from severely cold temperatures. Let the ground and the roots freeze first, to become
dormant, before covering them.
The best way to mulch roses is to pile six inches of leaves, Soil Pep, Small Bark, or
garden soil around each bush. Don't use grass clippings to mulch roses. Grass clippings can create a fungus problem that
can damage your rose bushes during the winter.
Please download our 'Rose Care' handout for more information.
Most spiders in your yard are beneficial. They trap and eat many insects that would otherwise love to cause problems for
you, your flowers, shrubs and trees. Spiders effectively control flies, crickets, other spiders, dust mites within your house,
and many houseplant pests.
Spiders make a natural insect trap and, as long as they stay outside, it is to your benefit to leave
them alone. Spiders may actually kill more insects than you can kill by spraying.
However, once a spider decides to invade your home it becomes a nuisance pest. Even a tiny little spider trapped in the
bathtub can compel an otherwise self-assured person to scream for the nearest designated spider killer in the family to come
and take care of the problem.
Most spiders inside your home are not dangerous, they are a nuisance. Two spiders are dangerous. The Black Widow
spider and the Aggressive House Spider (Hobo Spider) are two spiders that can cause serious injury.
The Hobo Spider
Elimination Kit (a spider Trap) traps and kills all different kinds of spiders; not just the bad ones. This kit contains five
pre-baited cards that attract and trap spiders.
You can put spider traps in several different areas of your house to catch spiders;
it is an excellent way to control the unwanted spiders in your home.
Most nuisance pests are very hard to control, such as boxelder bugs, flies, ants, and millipedes. Spiders are no different,
they are hard to control. The best control for these nuisance pests is persistence.
Chemical insecticides will kill any spiders
that come in contact with the spray. However, there is usually not a very long residual effect to control these types of pests.
If you can prevent these spiders from entering your house the control is much simpler.
Make sure your screens are in good
condition. Caulk around doors and windows. Spray the outside foundation of your house in the fall; spiders are looking for
warmth and protection from the weather.
Once spiders and other insects enter your house, control is a little harder. Regular applications of an insecticide inside
your house may help to control some pests. Ant, Roach & Spider Spray is available in both an aerosol spray and a trigger
Piine treesUse this type of spray around the baseboards and wall. An Indoor Insect Fogger is another fairly safe way to eliminate
some of these unwanted pests.
Vacuuming these unwanted pests is another safe way to eliminate them. Perhaps one of
the best and safest ways to control these nuisance pests is to use a Trap. Many different types of traps are available and safe.
They will trap many different types of insects for several months.
Next time you see a spider just repeat this sentence:
"Spiders are good guys. Spiders are good guys".
Please download our 'Spiders - Good or Bad?' handout for more information.
We recommend that you do not fertilize deciduous trees and shrubs in the fall. However, if you have a pine tree or
spruce tree that appears to be under stress, go ahead and fertilize it with a tree or shrub fertilizer that contains iron, such
as Dr. Earth All Purpose Fertilizer.
Fall fertilizer does not stimulate new growth, or harm pine trees, the same way it can
damage deciduous plants.
Be sure to water your pine trees occasionally during the fall, at least until the snow begins to fall. Evergreen plants need
more water and a little more attention than deciduous plants.
Fall is the best time to move plants. Transplant deciduous plants when they are dormant; after they drop their leaves.
Pine trees and shrubs can be transplanted a little earlier than deciduous plants; but it is still a good rule of thumb to wait until
leaves drop off surrounding deciduous plants before moving pine trees.
Each September and October we receive many calls from gardeners concerned about the lower and inner needles of their
pine trees turning yellow and brown.
Do not be alarmed if your pine trees, yews, junipers, and arborvitae plants shed their
innermost needles. This is natural each fall; the inside needles will turn yellow and then drop off the branch. More needles
will turn yellow and drop off a plant after a stressful summer than after a normal summer.
Don't be too surprised if a lot of
needles turn yellow and drop off your plants this fall because of the hot summer weather.
Contrary to the name 'evergreen', these trees do not keep their needles indefinitely. Pine trees only keep an individual
needle for two or three years.
After that time period the tree stops feeding that needle and the needle dies and falls off the
tree. Each spring a pine tree grows a new set of needles and each fall the tree sheds its oldest set of needles. Some years a
pine tree may shed two sets of old needles making the needle drop even more evident.
Needle drop in newly planted trees,
and in trees under stress, is more noticeable than in the older and larger trees.
However, all pine trees loose some of their
needles each fall, including Austrian Pine, Scotch Pine, Mugho Pine, Blue Spruce, Alberta Spruce, Junipers, and Yews.
Please download our 'Pine Tree Fall Needle Drop' handout for more information.
The peach tree borer often takes the rap for more than its fair share of trouble. Most of the time when you see sap on the
trunk of a peach tree you automatically assume the tree has a borer. You are right, some of the time.
Two other problems that
can cause sap to ooze out of the trunk of stone fruits are Bacterial Canker and Physical Injury, both of which need to be
treated differently than peach tree borer.
Bacterial canker, sometimes known as Gummosis, produces sunken, dark lesions
that allow sap to ooze from the affected area.
This disease can kill your tree if you do not treat it. Remove the sap and scrub
the entire area with Copper Fungicide. It is very important that you treat this problem this fall; don't wait until spring. If
you see this problem during the spring or summer you should treat it every three or four weeks until the symptoms go away;
but make sure it is not just damage from the peach tree borer!
Kids climbing peach trees, or extra weight loads from ripening fruit, can cause physical stress in the crotch of the tree. If
enough stress is applied, some of the bark can separate and allow sap to ooze from the wound.
It is not uncommon to see sap
oozing from several crotches in peach trees after harvesting peaches or after a wind storm moves the heavy laden branches.
Coryneum Blight, or Shothole Fungus, is a disease that infects Peach, Nectarine, Apricot, Plum, Almond, and Cherry
trees. Flowering Cherry and Flowering Plum trees are also susceptible to Coryneum Blight.
Coryneum Blight is a very
serious problem that can kill trees within a few years. This disease needs to be prevented rather than cured.
Spray your entire tree with Copper Fungicide as soon as 90% of the leaves drop off the tree. Spray your tree again, with
copper, just before the blossoms begin to open next spring. These two applications of copper are the most important way to
help prevent this disease.
You may also need to spray during the spring, with other fungicides, if the symptoms are severe.
Copper Fungicide can also help prevent leaf spot in Quaken Aspen and blight in Lilacs and Burning Bush plants.
Please download our 'Coryneum Blight' handout for more information.
As fall fades into winter, yards and gardens should have been cleaned up and plants should have gone dormant. What
about the insect pests?
Most insects will be protected and will be ready to reappear next season. Many common insect pests
actually overwinter in plant debris left in the garden, so it does pay to clean the garden at the end of the season.
cabbageworms that may have infested your cabbage and broccoli plants during the summer spend the winter in the pupa stage
in plant debris left in the garden. Cucumber beetles overwinter as adult beetles in the same debris.
The tomato hornworm
also spends the winter as a pupa in plant debris. Lawn grubs safely rest as a larvae in the soil just below the frostline in the
Rotovating the soil helps to kill all these pests.
Some caterpillars overwinter on the actual tree they eat during the summer.
Eggs are deposited in the cracks in the bark
or in the crotches of branches, ready to hatch next spring. Aphids also deposit their eggs in these same areas.
You may see
a willow branch completely engulfed with large black aphids this fall or an apple tree completely covered with the cottony
covering of the woolly apple aphid..
Spend some time this fall controlling these pests, and you may save yourself some time and money next spring. Spray
the trunk of all the trees you know that have these insects. Dormant oil is a safe organic insecticide that effectively kills both
larvae and eggs, if applied at the right time.
Nothing kills eggs that are completely ready for the winter weather, but if you
spray before the eggs are ready for winter, or just as the eggs are starting to hatch in the spring, you can have some pretty
Most borers that attack trees and shrubs spend the winter as larvae inside the host tree. They spend much of the warm
weather, during the winter, tunneling around and eating the tree.
Firewood is a common item harvested in the mountains and brought home to use during the winter. Along with the firewood,
you are probably bringing a few unwanted pests with you.
Most of these insects will not be a problem, such as ants,
spiders, and some beetles. These insects are a nuisance, but they do not bother your plants or your house.
insects brought from the mountains can be very devastating to the trees in your yard. Bark beetles and borers may find trees
in your yard or neighborhood delicious and will take up residence in those trees.
To prevent bringing the bark beetles home with you be sure to only harvest 2 to 3 year old firewood.
Do not bring the
fresh firewood home. Many harmful insects live in the living trees, and in the trees that have recently died.
are probably what killed the tree. If you do bring infested wood home try to burn it before the insects have time to develop
enough to leave the wood.
If you cannot burn it soon enough, you can tarp the wood pile and spray a chemical on the wood
to kill the insects.
Chemical sprays may produce toxic fumes, if you burn the wood before the chemical dissipates. Be sure your
fireplace will handle these types of fumes before burning the treated wood.
The Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is truly a spectacular plant that has become a conversation piece for the indoor gardener.
Amaryllis bulbs originated in the tropical areas of South America but they have been grown and hybridized throughout the
world. The Amaryllis bulb is a perennial bulb, but it must be taken inside during the winter in cold climates.
care the Amaryllis bulb can produce spectacular blossoms for several years.
Amaryllis bulbs vary in size. As a rule, larger bulbs produce more stems and flowers than smaller bulbs. Small bulbs
(26cm - 28cm size) bulbs produce one or two flower stems with three to five flowers on each stem.
Medium bulbs (34cm
size) bulbs produce two to four flower stems with four to five flowers on each stem. Large bulbs (40cm size) bulbs produce
three to five flower stems with four to five flowers on each stem. Amaryllis bulbs produce an abundance of flowers and
make a real show!
We have more than fifteen different varieties and colors available each fall. Beginning in October, we try to have some
Amaryllis bulbs available all winter until at least Valentines Day. Stop by, or download our Amaryllis Care Handout to learn
more about these wonder winter flowers.
Paperwhite bulbs are popular indoor plants for winter and for the holiday season. Unlike other bulbs, paperwhites
don't require a chilling period, so forcing them is as easy as putting the bulbs in water and waiting. The fragrant flowers
bloom about 3 to 6 weeks after planting, for almost instant gratification.
Put a layer of gravel in a decorative bowl. The bowl needs to be at least 5" to 6" deep. Arrange bulbs and fill the bowl
The gravel may be any size or color. Be sure to completely cover the bulbs with gravel to prevent the bulbs
A little charcoal mixed with the gravel will help keep the water fresh.
Add enough water to only touch the base of the bulbs. Do not let the bulbs sit in water. Check the water level often - too
little will dry the roots, and too much will invite decay.
Keep cool (50° to 55° ) and dark until top growth begins. When shoots are about 2" tall bring pots into light to develop
Tall plants need support. Bright light and cool temperatures (60° to 70°) will help keep narcissi compact.
You can start pots of paper whites every couple of weeks, for a continuous display throughout the winter.
Discard Paperwhite Bulbs when they are finished blooming. They are not winter hardy outdoors. They will take two or
three years of TLC to bloom again if you do try to keep them.
Please read our 'Forcing Paperwhite Narcissus' for more information about forcing these fun winter bulbs.
Come and see our great selection of Thanksgiving Decorations and Christmas Decor. By Halloween, our Garden Center
is transformed into a Christmas Wonderland.
We have 12 different styles of Nativity Sets, Indoor and Outdoor Christmas
Lights, Artificial Christmas Trees, Garlands, Wreaths, and many more exciting Christmas decorations.
We also have an excellent
selection of the popular 'Willow Tree®' Sculptures by Susan Lordi; realistic statues by Joseph's Studio; and lifelike
figurines by Fontanini.
This recipe makes an incredible presentation and is quite tasty as well! Enjoy!
What You'll Need:
- 1 large pumpkin
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions, diced small
- 1 Granny Smith apple [peeled and diced small]
- 2 teaspoons of oregano
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 lbs. of acorn squash seeded, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 cups chicken broth (optional); substitute a vegetable broth if on vegan diet
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- chopped scallions for garnish
Step by Step:
- Remove pumpkin meat from pumpkin and discard seeds (or save them to roast).
- Put the pumpkin meat in a large bowl and set aside.
- Melt the butter and sauté the onions, apple and oregano with pumpkin pie spice for 7 - 10 minutes.
- Add the acorn squash and the pumpkin meat and sauté for another 5-10 minutes to ensure squash is softened.
- Stir in the stock (vegetable or chicken), along with the pepper and salt.
- Place on low heat for 20 - 25 minutes.
- When the squash begins to fall apart this is done.
- Using an immersion stick blender or food processor, blend until smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In the pumpkin shell, add the cream and the purée.
- Bake for 30 35 minutes, covering the top of the pumpkin with foil.
- When ready to serve, garnish with scallions and serve the soup right out of the top of the pumpkin.
Hint: for a nice twist, serve with cheddar cheese grated over it.