CreekSide Soils Logo

Flower Photo

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Quick Tips

Fall Horticulture Tasks


Mulch Use



Compost Questions


Fall Care for Trees



Flower Photo

Fall Horticulture Tasks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Horticulture Tasks

Source: Nathan Winter, McLeod & Meeker County Extension Educator
 Many people utilize the spring, summer, and fall to grow their treasured houseplants outdoors.  Houseplants that have been growing outside should be moved back indoors.  Be sure to wash the plants well on both tops and undersides of the leaves.  Check for tiny white specks, sticky leaves or webbing that could signal a spider mite infestation. Also watch for bits of white on leaf undersides that would be shed skins of aphids or white flies. Keep returning houseplants isolated until you determine they are not infected with insect pests.
 It is very important to take care of newly planted plants to ensure a positive spring.  Watering new trees and shrubs for the first five years is important to help establish their root systems.  It is equally important to water trees and shrubs that have shown stress during the growing season.  The soil should be damp six inches below the soil surface.  As important as watering is for plants, many times we tend to over water our new plantings.  If the soil is damp six inches below the soil surface, leave the plant alone.  An inch of rain every ten to fourteen days can go a long way to providing the needed amount of water for established plants as well as new plantings. In recent weeks we have not seen any rain and water is needed. Watering new trees and shrubs along with stressed plants is important until the soil freezes up in the fall.
 Leaves are starting to drop off area trees. There are many common foliar diseases that continue their life cycle from year to year.  A couple of those diseases are anthracnose and apple scab.  Anthracnose is typically found on ash, maple, and oak trees this spring.  Apple scab also tends to be a perennial problem on apple trees throughout the summer.  Leaves that had foliar diseases such as anthracnose, apple scab, should be disposed of rather than composted. Typically, compost piles do not heat enough to kill disease organisms.
 It is ok to mulch non-diseased leaves back into your lawn.  Leaves mulch up much better when dry compared to wet.  It may take a couple of times with the lawn mower to get an adequate consistency.  Be sure not to leave clumps or piles on the lawn surface because it may lead to smothering out the lawn or create disease problems in the spring.  Compost excess leaves or collect and dispose through your municipality collections.

Back to Top


Mulch Use

Potting and Mulch Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the benefits of using mulch?

Weed Control: Mulches deny light to weed seedlings that they need to germinate.

Temperature Control: Mulches insulate plants from drastic temperature changes, keeping them cooler in the summer months and warmer in the winter months.

Attractive Appearance: Mulches provide a neat, uniform look to your landscape.

Moisture Retention: Mulches reduce the speed of water evaporation while keeping an even supply of water on the upper levels of the soil.

Prevention of Compaction: Mulches break the falls of water drops, which can cause the soil to compact and inhibit plant growth.

Soil Texture Improvement: Mulches benefit soil, for example, clay soils get improved aeration and sandy soils retain water better.

How much should I apply?

Answer: Apply the mulch evenly 2 to 4 inches deep. Level the mulch by raking or with your hands. A four inch depth is an excellent weed deterent.

Don't pack the mulch down. Leave room around the plant stems and tree trunks. After application, wet the mulch thoroughly, and then pull the mulch back a few inches away from the plant stems and trunks. This allows adequate air circulation to the base of the plant.

When Should I apply Mulch?

Answer: Spring and Fall are the ideal times to apply mulch. This will help reduce soil temperature, save water, and pevent weeds.

How long does the mulch retain its color?

Answer: Colored mulch will typically maintain its color for more than a year.

Hint: To make mulch appear brighter, use a rake to fluff. By raking, the mulch on the under side is brought to the top.

Back to Top


Compost
Questions



Hand/Soil Photo

 

 

 

What are the benefits of using compost based soils?

Answer: Compost soils help improve soil structure, porosity, and density-this creates a better environment for plant growth. (See the US Composting Council web site for more benefits)

Should I use compost soil to top dress areas of my
yard that are very sandy?

Answer: Yes. Comost soil will improve the water holding capacity and also add viable nutrients that are necessary to growing a healthy lawn.

Is it better to buy a soil product in bags or bulk?

Answer: It is up to the individual person. We recommend buying products in bulk when doing a larger yard project: top dressing, making new beds or establishing a garden. Bags are handy when repotting plants, adding additional soil to flower beds or when little soil product is needed.

Back to Top

Line Image

Fall Care for Trees


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fall Care for Trees

Source: Nathan Winter, McLeod & Meeker County Extension Educator
Trees have been under stress again in 2012. Above average heat and summer drought conditions have provided a less than ideal situation. Following is some helpful information for newly planted trees, existing trees, mechanical equipment protection, fertilization, and pruning.
According to the University of Minnesota Forest Resource Extension, in the Midwest region, bareroot trees and shrubs should be planted when the plants are dormant in the spring or at the end of the growing season (fall).  Balled and burlapped, containerized, and container grown plants can be planted throughout the growing season, but with caution during the summer months.  If planting in the fall, the recommendation is to plant four weeks before the soil temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.  To plant trees correctly, get a copy of the U of M publication called “Planting Trees and Shrubs in Minnesota”, which can be found on the U of M Extension Website: http://z.umn.edu/98n or by calling most U of M Extension Offices.  The publication also has choices for proper Minnesota tree species.
Watering is going to be important to a newly planted tree as well as any existing trees on your landscape.  Since watering is such a time consuming task, you may have to pick and choose the existing trees that you want to water.  I recommend watering any newly planted trees and also water any trees that have shown stress, disease, or insect problems through the growing season. The dry conditions in late-summer and fall in 2012 are going to be very problematic for trees in 2012. Be sure to get out and water trees until the ground freezes.
Water newly planted and existing trees over the root zone of the tree.  Roots of trees can vary from 1.5 to 3 times as wide as the canopy. Avoid frequent light watering and instead water infrequently and heavy.  You will want to wet the soil to a 6 – 8 inch depth and then let the soil dry out in between.  Use a rod to determine when you have wetted the soil to that depth.  Believe it or not, you can over water trees, which will starve the roots of oxygen and cause roots to rot.  If fall rains are averaging one inch every week, watering will probably not be necessary.  Generally, you want to have an adequate amount of moisture before the ground freezes up in late fall, especially with coniferous trees. My Minnesota Woods Website has additional information on seasonal watering of trees and shrubs: http://z.umn.edu/98m.
Protect stems of landscape and shrub trees from animals and mechanical equipment.  This is most important on new or young shrubs and trees.  Use a mesh or hardwire cloth at least three inches from the stem.  Plastic guards can also be used, but they are only recommended to encase the lower part of the stem, where damage can take place.  Sun scald can be prevented by wrapping the trunk with a commercial tree wrap, plastic tree guards, or any other light-colored material. Put the wrap on in the fall and remove it in the spring after the last frost.   Wraps should be used primarily on new trees.
Fertilizing trees should be done on a case by case basis.  A soil test can be done to determine if the soil does not have the adequate amounts of fertilizer in the soil.  University of Minnesota Soil Test Kits can be picked up at most University of Minnesota Extension Offices.  Often, the tree has sufficient amounts of nutrients available if the lawn is being fertilized regularly.  If fertilizer is needed, a late fall application can be done before the ground freezes for coniferous trees and an application can be applied to deciduous trees between when it is fully leafed out and when it will start showing fall color change.
Pruning can also be done this time of year on many trees.  Late fall brings the time when it is safe to prune oaks and elms until next spring.  During the dormant season serious disease problems are less problematic.  Hold off on apple trees until the best window for preventing disease spread, which is late winter (late-February to early-March).  Another helpful publication is the University of Minnesota Publication “Pruning Trees and Shrubs” located on the University of Minnesota Extension Website. This publication is a good how to guideline for pruning trees.

Back to Top

 

CreekSideSoils.Com © 2008   •   Disclaimer