Stock up on cold crop vegetable seeds
Set up stink bug traps in your yard.
These traps will lure stink bugs with an attractant that is odor-free to humans, before they enter your home or damage your vegetable or fruit gardens.
A light can be purchased separately to be added to the trap for indoor use.
Remember to mow your lawn high (three or four inches high) to prevent stress and shade the roots.
1. If you are considering a fall vegetable garden, now is the time to purchase cold crop vegetable seeds.
Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, turnips, kale, greens and cauliflower are prime crops that will harvest before frost and thrive during the cooler fall nights.
2. Prune Marigold flowers at the first sign of discoloring.
A major disease (botrytis) will take out marigolds quickly if you do not keep them pruned this time of the year.
Pruning them will also promote a more lush and blooming plant.
1. Prune back to the ground all raspberry and blackberry canes which have just finished.
Pruning the spent canes encourages continued spur development on canes which have grown this summer meaning a better fruit yield.
Also, prune out any pencil thin and dead canes to encourage more light into the plant for more vigor.
I suggest Espoma’s Hollytone at recommended label instructions to provide nutrients.
2. It is time to move your potted amaryllis indoors to a cool spot and begin the three month dormant cycle.
You must withhold all water and fertilizers during this time.
It is also recommended that you simply turn the pot on its side and allow the foliage to dry naturally, and it will also remind you not to water.
All the nutrients from the stalks will return to the bulb.
If the plant has less than six stalks, leave the plant outdoors for another four weeks and feed it with Jack’s classic fertilizer every other week.
watch for unusual low nighttime temperatures (in the 50s) if you have taken your Christmas cactus to be a Halloween Cactus and bloom in late October.
Remember to check the water level of your pond and other water features, since this time of year evaporation occurs rapidly.
Also, clean the filter weekly and start monitoring trees, which sometimes begin shedding their leaves now.
Remove leaves and other debris from your pond daily as this will save a lot of work later.
Keep bladed sharp on your mower, and mow high to provide less stress on the lawn.
When watering, remember established lawns need an inch of rain weekly to preform well, and consistent deep watering is much better than frequent lighter watering.
Begin planning and preparing in-ground plants now that will be dug-up, put in containers and brought indoors.
Plants such as basil, thyme, rosemary coleus, geraniums, lantana, Impatiens, was begonias, and even New Guinea Impatiens may do well if brought inside before frost.
(Editor’s Note: Ken Morgan is owner of Robin’s Nest Floral and Garden center in Easton, Md.)