The Summer that Was and Fall Readiness – Part 1

Fall Readiness Part II - Japanese Beetle Edition
Like the Heat? ... it Continues

June 22, 2019 Covers, Nighttime Temp 45 degrees
The spring and summer growing season of 2019 may be one for the books. Late spring frosts and cold temperatures delayed May planting. There were many return visits to garden centers to replace tomatoes and petunias that didn’t survive May and June nights in the forties. 

Gardening weather was good for about a week in June until summer turned stifling hot in late June and remained mostly dry and hot through August. It’s still hot.

Hail events decimated annuals, many perennials, tomato plants and cars. Some gardeners threw in the towel and relied on produce donations from others. Others had a tremendous summer crop of green beans, peppers and squash. The mantra that “there’s always next year” was heard often.

Fall arrives on September 23. Let’s see if sweater weather and orange shades arrive too. Trees in the high country are already turning. Some urban trees look like they already have started changing colors, but on closer examination are those in fact scorched, dead leaves? 

5-27-19 Middle of the Night Hail Damage on our Garlic (sad)
How are your trees doing? Have you taken a close look at them lately? Are they ready for the fall to winter transition? Year after year trees that consistently go into winter with dry roots often resulting in leaf scorch, early leaf drop, canopy die back, or possible death. 
Please don’t assume that trees will take care of themselves from automatic sprinkler systems, the occasional drink from summer rain storms or when fall and winter moisture arrives. That may be true for well-established very drought tolerant trees and plants—which wise gardeners have chosen to plant. 

The reality is with our low average yearly moisture (12 – 14 inches), trees often need our help – especially in a low moisture season like this one. So far this year we’ve only had eleven inches of moisture. Simply put, our trees and possibly many plants in our landscapes are drought stressed. 

Plan on year-round watering practices. This is especially important for new tree plantings. Regularly check soil depth to see that tree roots are moist to a depth of eight to twelve inches (poke down with a screw driver or invest in a soil probe). The exception to watering is when there’s snow on the ground, cold temperatures below forty degrees or frozen soil. Our vital tree landscape is counting on us!

New Trees Need Winter Water when Moisture is Scarce!

Fall and Winter Tree Watering—

  • Plan on deeply watering established landscape trees, including conifers, at twice a month now through November, or later if it stays warm. Newly planted trees need watering more often—two to four times a month. 
  • From December through next spring, when temperatures are above forty degrees and there’s no snow cover, water established trees once a month mid-day. 
  • After sprinkler systems are turned off connect the hose to a sprinkler. Place the sprinkler head under the outer branches (dripline) and move the sprinkler about every ten minutes, or less if water is running off. Water around the full canopy of the tree, then move on to the next tree.
  • Insert a long screwdriver into the watered area and check to see if moisture has penetrated at least 8 – 12 inches. 

General Landscape

  • Indoor plants that have been growing outside need to go indoors before nighttime temperatures remain below fifty degrees. First get them acclimated to lower light conditions by moving them to shady areas for several days. 
  • If possible before their return indoors, lift the plant from the container and check the rootball for hitchhiking insects. Treat with insecticidal soaps or systemic (soil) products for scale insects, white fly and spider mites. Remove damaged or leggy growth. Repot overgrown plants to a slightly larger container. Give them a light fertilizer. Yellowing or leaf drop is normal until plants get used to being indoors again. 
  • To extend the vegetable growing season be prepared to use frost blankets or lightweight sheets over warm-season crops when nights are below fifty degrees. Cover plants all the way to the ground to trap warm air. Avoid using plastic directly over plants as it transfers cold to the foliage. Remove covers when temperatures reach fifty degrees.

Fall Readiness Part II - Japanese Beetle Edition
Like the Heat? ... it Continues
About Damboi 37 Articles
I'm still a student.. Gat passion for novels and K-Drama. So, settle down... Let's have the best experience reading here..

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