Landscape Article

Autumn is a great time to fight plant diseases and pests before they rear their ugly heads when warm weather returns, nipping them in the bud, so to speak. From fungal diseases such as rose black spot and powdery mildew to pests like scale and stink bugs, there is no shortage of plant enemies that go dormant during the winter months. Follow these suggestions to limit their return next year.

Clean Up the Landscape

The easiest way to keep diseases at bay is to clear the old, fallen leaves and branches from the ground. If possible, burn the debris to eradicate overwintering spores.
During your clean yard up, cut back your perennials and throw them in the fire as well.
Check out your evergreen trees. If they have the tale-tale signs of a bagworm infestation, pick the bags off and dunk them in boiling hot soapy water.
Look at your fruit trees. If there are diseased fruits on the ground, dispose of them quickly, making sure not to throw them in the compost. Look at your stone fruit trees to see if they have shriveled, old fruits (called mummies) still attached. This is a sign of peach brown rot. Pick all mummies from the tree and the ground and burn them in your brush fire.

Work on the Turf

A full, luscious turf has been proven to keep yard weeds at bay by keeping sunlight from reaching germinating seeds. Overseeding your yard in early November is a great way to get a jump on a new Spring lawn. Check out our many types of turf seed and talk to our online experts to help you find the right seed for November planting

Go on the Defense

Many insects are heading down into the ground during Autumn but on warmer days some head back up for a good snack. Head them off at the pass by treating your yard. Try using Essential 1 Organic Insect Control on those warmer days to get rid of awakening pests. Just be sure not to spray any blooming plants, including clover, or you could possibly hurt awakening pollinators as well is another way to fight dormant insects.
Horticultural oil is another great product used during the colder months. This organic oil covers shrubs where dormant pests may be overwintering, effectively killing them in their sleep. Horticultural Oil is best used in the colder months as hot weather can make the oil too hot and may damage the plants it is sprayed on.
If you have had lots of pests in the vegetable garden, solarize it by laying black plastic over it through the cold months. This will not only kill many insect larvae, but it will also take care of many weeds that may be growing as well.

Take Care of Fruit Trees

Fruit trees are almost always susceptible to early spring diseases. To prevent stone fruits from contracting peach brown rot for another year, spray the infected trees and ground around them with a copper fungicide after picking up the mummies. When Spring arrives, spray the trees more often, following the instructions on the bottle.
Fight fire blight, an apple and pear tree devastator, by spraying the Spring buds and blooms daily with an antibiotic called Ferti-lome Although you will not need this for several months, it is important to be prepared, just in case of a warm Winter and early budding season.
Fall clean up in the landscape is essential for a good Spring the next year. If you have had problems with pests and diseases, now is the time to work hard and prevent them from appearing next year. Your landscape will thank you next year with a beautiful, healthy display of color.