Do a good job of raking up old fruit from under trees. This old
fruit harbors many diseases and insects that could cause you
problems for next year, if allowed to lie under the tree. Don't
stop with the ground clean up, but also remove mummified fruit
and small fruit from the trees and dispose of it in another
We are now at the “breaking point” for the recommended time to
seed grass seed. If you want to try it later, you may have
excellent luck or have no luck at all. The next recommended
seeding time is mid March to the 1st of April. Figure on about
two pounds of seed per 1000 square feet of lawn for an
overseeding, and four pounds per 1000 square feet for a newly
tilled area. Hopefully the temperature and moisture situation
will be more favorable than it has been earlier.
Now is a great time to go after those broadleaf weeds in the
lawn. Make sure that you select the correct product, use the
proper amount, and do not treat areas containing fall seeded
grass. The rule of thumb is that you need to mow newly seeded
grass at least 3 times before treating that area for broadleaf
weeds. This means you don’t try and do both in the same fall or
spring seeding season. Broadleaf weeds that are perennial are
sending large amounts of material to the roots to enable them to
come up again next year, and translocated herbicides will be
sent to the roots as well. Be warned this also means perennials,
such as flowers and shrubs, are in the same boat.
Pruning chores for plants with a high sap flow should be done in
December, while other pruning chores are best done in early
February for deciduous plants, and in June for evergreens.
Flowering shrubs are best done after they flower to preserve
flower buds for the following year. Pruning now frequently leads
to more damage to plants.
Plan for next year’s garden planting scheme now. It wouldn’t
hurt a bit to apply some lawn and garden limestone to the entire
area, especially those where you will have tomatoes, green
beans, and peas. The only areas to not put lime on are areas
where acid-loving crops, such as blueberries, will be. Assuming
you are applying about a pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet,
apply about 4.25 pounds of lime to the same area. This rate
would also be appropriate for lawns.
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We can also plant spring flowering bulbs. It’s always
better to have a bulb in the ground than to try and hold them
for another growing season if the weather turns sour on us. Pay
particular attention to some of the less common bulbs or colors.
Summer flowering bulbs should generally be dug after the first
killing frost, since they aren’t hardy enough to survive the
winter in the ground.
Logan County Household Hazardous Waste Collection
Here’s a plug for the Logan County Joint Solid Waste Agency’s
sponsorship of a household hazardous waste collection on October
11 at the Logan County Fairgrounds. Hours are 8 to 3 rain or
shine. Materials collected include household pesticides,
oil-based paints, cleaning products, unwanted medications,
household batteries, fluorescent lamp bulbs, motor oil,
household batteries, cleaning products, antifreeze, and mercury.
They will not accept ag chemicals, waste from businesses,
explosives, ammunition, fireworks, lead acid batteries, medical
waste, propane tanks, smoke detectors, farm machinery oil, fire
extinguishers, institutional waste, sharps and needles, or
controlled substances. For more information, contact them at
[By JOHN FULTON, COUNTY EXTENSION
DIRECTOR SERVING LOGAN, MENARD, AND SANGAMON COUNTIES]