Fall is here with all its majestic colors we have come to associate with the fall season. There are a few other perks that come with fall. The ability to forge among apple orchards for the perfect apple for apple baking recipes. Let’s not forget the fresh pressed apple cider, which waits for you & yours to sip with added cinnamon and mull spices…yum one can almost smell the wonderful aroma that lingers. Pumpkins fill the fields waiting for anxious hands to pick them for jack lanterns, decorations, scrumptious pies, cookies and soups.
Here in Berks County we have Weaver’s Orchard where you can pick your own apples. Weaver’s Orchard hosts a large variety of apples for your distinct taste. Your selection for fall pumpkins, gourds, and mums is only limited to your creative design. Can’t decide? Enjoy a cup of cider or coffee with apple donuts while you shop among the fresh cool weather vegetables broccoli and cauliflower just to name a few. Weaver’s also presses their own apple cider on site. You can usually watch in the morning. It is amazing – sure to thrill just about everyone!
Beyond the mentioned wonderful things, fall is also the time to plan your garden for spring. Yes, fall. Why, because you can still purchase perennial plants for next year’s opening spring. Bulbs of just about every color can be planted daffodils, crocus and tulips. As long as the soil and ground haven’t frozen hard yet. Which reminds me, when planting those new items be sure to plant them deep enough so as the ground does begin to freeze they don’t get pushed up and freeze & die. Deciduous trees can be transplanted when their leaves have dropped from their branches. Trees will be beginning their dormant time.
Roses enjoy the cooler temperatures. To ensure roses good health, now would be the time to clean up any fallen leaves. Roses are also prone to black spot, rust and powdery mildew. Simply by applying a horticultural oil to roses and other plants in the garden can tackle that problem. (In a gallon container add 2 tablespoon baking soda, 2tablespoon of horticultural oil). Horticultural oil aids in preventing fungal spores, pesky garden insects eggs from overwintering as well on dormant branches by smothering them. Did you know this is one type of garden intervention is called IPM – Integrated Pest Management. Other types of IPM are natural biological ways to control garden pests such as lacewing to control aphids and predatory nematodes that attack below the soil slow moving soft bodied insects. These Beneficial’s can be ordered in garden catalogs / on line. (www.TerritorialSeed.com) Then again there is cultural soil controls, which is something that can be implemented in fall clean up with plant debris. By fluffing mulch while aerating your soil. Which helps to ensure healthy plants, along with timely plant fertilization and irrigation.
Now you have done your part to ensure a healthy blooming spring season. I know I can’t think of anything better to dream about during the middle of those long gray winter days. (As with all things read your directions prior to using – some plants may not fare well with horticultural oils.) These are just a few ways to maximize pest control while minimizing pest damage to your environment.
Enjoy the fall season your favorite way…