Freezepruf is an environmentally safe way to extend the growing season as it improves the plants natural cold tolerance up to 9.4 degrees, depending on the variety of the plant. Developed by botanists, FreezePruf protects plants externally and systemically, is biodegradable, and is resistant to rain and snow. One application will last up to six weeks, allowing for an extended growing season for flowers and vegetables.
Weed Beater Ultra provides results with temperatures in the 40 degree range. One 32-ounce, hose-end sprayer will cover 21,000 square feet of tall fescue lawns, killing broadleaf weeds, even chickweed, wild onion, ground ivy and dandelions, more than 200 broadleaf lawn weeds. Visible results can be seen in two days. Treated areas can be reseeded in two weeks.
Espoma Tone products offer Bio-tone beneficial microbes, which help the plant to develop deeper roots, and superior blooms. They provide a complete and balanced feeding using only natural ingredients, not using harmful salts or other man-made elements which are harmful to the environment and plants. These products are also approved for organic gardening.
WEEK ONE: Many other annuals can re-seed themselves if you allow the stalks to stay in place for the winter as you would New Guinea Impatiens. I have had success with Snapdragons, marigolds, and Dianthus. Also sprinkle some lime around the area where the plants were to raise the pH, and apply Flower-tone to provide adequate feeding now and for early spring.
• When harvesting your fruit trees, dispose of all rotten and unused fruit. Doing this will help avoid any over-wintering diseases and keep insect problems from occurring. Do the same with any fallen grapes, making sure none are left on the vines.
WEEK TWO: Leave caladium, tuberous begonias, cannas, and dahlias in the garden until subjected to several frosts. Spade them up in late November for winter storage, remembering the temperature needs of each type of bulb. Caladiums require temperatures above 70 degrees, tuberous begonias require 35-40 degrees; cannas 40-50 degrees and dahlia require 35-45 degrees. Store in peat moss in a dry and dark location, and be sure to label colors.
• After the last roses bloom, spread bone meal over the soil and soak in. A lot of rose guides suggest pruning now; but I believe it is better to wait until March to prune back any rose. Do this before spraying dormant oil/lime sulfur spray to discourage overwintering insects from taking up home near the garden.
WEEK THREE: Rake leaves and needles up from the lawn. Mow a little lower and bag up all clippings. The micro-organisms that decay grass clippings become dormant when the soil temperatures drop below 53 degrees.
• Fall is the ideal time for dividing and moving most perennials, to make more space for annuals, or plan to combine annuals and perennials together for next year. Making changes to the shapes and sizes of existing beds, allowing for trees that have grown, and seeing how the bed is affected by sun and shade, makes planning for next year a whole lot easier.
WEEK FOUR: June bearing strawberry plants start to manufacture flower buds for fruit next season. Water weekly if no rain is forecast until Thanksgiving to achieve optimum bud production, which means more fruit next year!
• This is the best time to check the soil pH around your azaleas and make necessary adjustments using Espoma’s Soil Acidifier to lower to 4.5-5.5. Plants, including azaleas, can only extract food from the soil only when the pH is in the correct range.
(Editor’s Note: Ken Morgan is owner of Robin’s Nest Floral and Garden Center in Easton, Md.)