The fall garden and items of interest
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[August 10, 2011]
It doesn't seem possible to think about fall,
let alone a fall garden, after the past several weeks of heat and
humidity. However, if you are interested in planting a fall garden,
the time is upon us.
Many of the commonly grown fall crops require about 50 days
before harvest, and this group includes beets, kohlrabi, green
beans, Swiss chard, turnips and transplants of broccoli, cabbage
and cauliflower. A few crops with shorter time required are leaf
lettuce and spinach at 40 days and radishes at 25 days. An
average date for our first killing frost in the fall is Oct. 10.
Back off from this date by the days required for maturity of
your crop, add a week to get them germinated, and we are at the
seeding date for many of the crops.
You should remove all the
residues from former crops and weeds before planting. It is also
a good idea to add some fertilizer, such as 12-12-12, at the
rate of 1 to 2 pounds per 100 square feet. Then till to
incorporate the fertilizer and remaining debris, as well as
loosen up the soil. Late summer plantings often require some
additional water and sometimes a little shade to offset some of
the hot soil temperatures we can encounter.
If you aren't into fall gardening, you might consider options
to extend what you have growing now. Covering plants for the
first expected frosts can add weeks to the season. The use of
row covers, hotbeds and cold frames is even more of a sure
Items of interest
There are several items being asked about on a frequent
basis. Of course, many asking the questions probably don't read
this, or they wouldn't be asking!
experiencing blossom-end rot and several leaf diseases.
Fungicide sprays are necessary for the leaf diseases, while
blossom-end rot can be helped with a deep watering followed
by at least 2 inches of mulch.
populations have spiked the last two weeks. The high
humidity has been ideal, but the lack of rainfall makes it
somewhat puzzling. Protect yourself in highly infested areas
with a 30 percent DEET product. Sprays of permethrin,
bifenthrin or carbaryl can be used on vegetation to control
ticks, but be particularly careful with the first two
products since they can be deadly to cats and dogs.
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are out and about. These include fall webworm, tent
caterpillars, tussock moth caterpillars and many others. The
lesson of the Japanese beetles has shown us that feeding damage
is probably not going to kill a tree, but will make it
damage will continue for a few more weeks but at a lessened
pace. Some beetles will linger until we get later into
Cicada killer wasp
numbers have grown rapidly. These are the large wasps that use a
cicada or grasshopper to lay eggs in, in a soil burrow. Affected
areas can be treated with an insecticide if the nuisance is too
great. The wasps that actually buzz around you are male and
temperatures and moisture should bring back much of the brown
grass in lawns, but there will be some dead spots. I'll cover
seeding information next week, as we will be in the correct time
to begin fall lawn seedings.
University of Illinois Extension]