The holiday season has crept up on us again, and with it comes to-do lists that always seem to be a little longer. Depending on your situation, the late-fall to-do list for the lawn and garden might include some or all of the following tasks:[emember_protected custom_msg=”Click here and register now to read the rest of the article!”]
• Giving your lawn its most important feeding of the year. Fertilize now to ensure a green lawn this winter and a quick takeoff next spring. If the lawn is weedy, a combination weed-and-feed fertilizer might be necessary. If you have a poor lawn and decide to overseed with rye grass, fertilize every six to eight weeks. The frequency is needed because you’re feeding two grasses — the semi-dormant permanent grass and a very hungry and thirsty rye grass.
• Matching plantings to the cooler weather. These could include winter vegetables in the garden and, for color around the lawn, hardy annuals like petunias, snap dragons and pansies. Fertilize lightly every two weeks with feed that includes minor elements, which tend to be depleted quickly in garden beds. For this, we like Gardener’s Special, a product from ferti-lome.
• Reinvigorating soils with bone meal, potash and other nutrients. Periods of heavy rainfall we had during the summer and early fall washed away most of these essential elements.
• Protecting annuals from “damping off” blights (caused by fungus) and insects. Use a good-quality fungicide and insecticide every week or two. Insect and fungus activity still is very apparent in both lawns and gardens throughout our area. Fungus is best treated with dry products this time of year. Insects can be controlled with either liquid or dry products.
• “Banking” young and tender plants with built-up clean soil. Plants that are underfertilized, lacking in essential minor elements, weedy or weakened by disease or insects are more susceptible to cold damage.
column by WILLIAM “BILL” DOTY
BIO: William R. (Bill) Doty is the owner of Doty Farm & Garden Supply Inc. Founded in 1954, Doty’s has been there for every one of its loyal customer’s budding needs. A graduate of Winter Haven High School and Florida State University, Bill learned invaluable lessons in listening, asking questions, and reading anything related to the family business. He shares his knowledge with his customers daily and our readers each month. [/emember_protected]