Wednesday, September 02, 2009


I got this from the National Gardening Association Newsletter.

"What’s Woolch Mulch?

While in England this past summer, I noticed gardeners using wool around plants that slugs love. It appears the wool deters the slugs and snails from eating the foliage. Well, here’s a new idea combining wool and mulch to create a new product for gardeners: Woolch. Made from 50 percent wool (a bi-product from yarn and blanket making industries) and 50 percent toothpick-size wood shavings (a bi-product from sawmills), woolch was developed by the Minnesota Lamb and Wool Makers Association and tested at the University of Minnesota. This combination of wool and wood shavings has been used on perennial fruits and vegetables such as strawberries with great success. Woolch prevents weed growth on top and below the mulch, retains soil moisture, keeps the soil cool, and lasts longer than other organic mulches such as straw. For strawberries it even allows the daughter plants to root themselves through the woolch material. The lightweight, felt-like mats of woolch can be cut to fit any fruit, vegetable, or perennial garden patch and generally lasts for 2 years in the garden before degrading in the soil.
For more information on this new organic mulch, go to: Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers ."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009



Seed or over seed new lawns before the leaves begin to fall.

Fertilize your perennials and shrubs... it will help them make
it through the winter.

To keep your bulbs in top-notch condition while giving you lots of flowers, scatter a 5-10-20 fertilizer on top of the ground above them.

Japanese Beetles lay eggs at about this time, so treat your lawn with beneficial nematodes that will control the grubs.

Stop pruning shrubs. This will encourage new growth, which should be avoided. Any new stuff will be nipped by frost which is NOT good for the plant!

If you haven't divided your herbaceous perennials, such as daylilies, irises, hostas and peonies, get it done soon. Remember the soil is still nice and warm even if the temperature drops at night. It allows the roots time to settle in and establish themselves before winter sets in! This is what makes fall such a good time to plant!

Plant some fall mums!

Allowing hips to form on your roses tells the plant to harden off for winter. So, you should probably stop picking the blooms for the table!

Water your peonies and shrubs very heavily. It will have to last
until spring.

This is the time to divide peonies.

Put all your non-diseased plant debris in the compost bin,
adding a bit of soil as well, to help get the chemistry moving!

If you haven't done a soil test... now is the time. Call your
local Extension Office for information.

Dig up your gladiola, dahlia and tuberous begonia corms.

Poinesttias should now be put in their dark corner for at least 16 hours each day in order to set up their bracts to be colorful by Christmas time.

I would suggest that you begin removing blossoms from your tomato plants. This will tell the plant it's time to ripen up the tomatoes left on the vine, and stop putting out more. (Unless you want green tomatoes, that is!)

Watch for migrating Monarch Butterflies that are beginning to head south to spend the winter in Mexico.

Also, look for Broad-Winged Hawks that are migrating about now.

Start preparing your indoor plants to come back inside, being sure they are in before frost. You need to be sure they don't have insects hiding anywhere. You also want to clean off the pots, especially if they were sunken into the soil for their summer sojourn!

Your amaryllis can come inside and go into a dark, cool corner.

Take down your Hummingbird feeders at the end of the month, if you haven't already.