By Pat Greenwell

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The weather we have had in the past few days has hopefully given everybody enough rain to allow the yards to green up. Many farmers were thankful to see the rain. Many of the field crops needed the rain to help the beans in the soybean pods fill out and the corn to finish denting. Also the rains will help the fall grass to keep growing. There will be some more wet baling done on some farms too because the hay fields will start to regrow.

Now let’s talk about everyone’s own yard. Since we have gotten this rain and cooler temperatures, people will see the cool season grasses start to grow again. Yard owners may have noticed when the cool season grasses weren’t growing, there were several brown spots showing up in the yards. Hopefully the yards will start to green up, but sometimes they may not.

Also there may have been too many unwanted weeds and grasses showing up in the yards too. How does one solve these problems at this time of year to move forward? Think about doing some fertilizing. This is the most important fertilizer application that can be done in the year. Most of the fertilizer used this time of year is dry. So doing it now in the fall will allow dry fertilizer time to breakdown to get into the soil, being ready for early grass growing in the spring. So be fertilizing the yards now.

Now is also the time to be thinking about the need to reseed some parts of the yard. People may want to wait a few days to see if some of the brown looking spots in the yard might start to green up and start to grow again. But be planning on doing some reseeding of places in the yard that may need new grass seed in the coming weeks. Look for more information about fall grass seeding in a future Hort. Report.

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Now is the time of year people need to be doing fall pruning of Raspberries and Blackberries. When pruning Raspberries and Blackberries in the fall, Raspberries can be pruned this time of year for maintenance. Meaning prune all damaged, broken, diseased, and overlapping cane. The big pruning needs to be done in the early spring. With Blackberries, they need to be pruned after they have finished producing for this growing season. Pruning any cane that produced any blackberries this year. Then prune the cane that is damaged, broken, diseased or crossing over. This time of year, there will be some cane that is growing outside of the area that growers may want the cane to grow. But just like with Raspberries the main pruning will need to be done in the spring of the year too. As said before there is a need to keep working, getting ready for 2021.

Several people in the past few days have asked about how to fix their tomato virus problems. Where are the tomatoes planted? Have the tomatoes been moved around in the garden any? Most of the time the answer is no. Make plans to move them or the soil where they are planted for 2021. Make notes about what the garden needs to do to improve for 2021.

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Now is the time to be cleaning up your annual and perennial flowerbeds. Several of these flowers are starting to lose their flowers. So be thinking about getting started on this. I talked about pruning and cleaning up the flowerbeds this fall. I will begin doing that this week. I will remove all the clippings off of them. Them go in and rake the soil in them getting opening up the soil. I then plan on planting some purple cone flower seed in them. Purple cone flower is a perennial that will start to grow in a few days.

Laura and I will also seed some Shasta Daisy and other perennial seed in several flowerbeds this fall too. You need to make sure you have raked the soil in the flowerbeds. So the soil will be opened up so the flower seed will come in contact with the soil. I will then wait for a rain. If it doesn’t rain within a few days, I will rake the flowerbed again. This will have the seed covered not very deep. Be cleaning up any old, diseased, damaged and broken flowers plants in the flowerbeds now too. Once you have gotten the flowerbeds cleaned up. You can either put the clippings in a compost pile or use them as mulch. I will remove the clippings from the flowerbeds first. Then put it back on the flowerbeds as mulch after I rake and reseed them with flowerseed. I like to have some type of mulch on the flowerbeds to help protect both older and the newest flower plants in the perennial flowerbeds. Another thing that I want to make a note on is how Great the gourds are doing this year compared to past years. There are several reasons why they are doing Great. We have had a good growing season, with plenty of water and good growing temperatures. I did have to water them a few times during the hottest days of late July & early August.

The Biggest reason I think they did so well is when I planted them. I waited to plant them after the middle of June. Waiting until the squash & stink bugs were done with their first hatch. I also planted Marigolds with the gourd seeds. I did do some hunting for insects and found a few the last week of June. But I know now that the later planting was a Big reason the gourds are doing so Great. As in the past I really appreciate all your questions in the past and look forward to them in the future. So Thanks and keep the questions coming. You can call me at 573-588-2040. Shelby County Implement in Shelbina, or come out and see me, or stop me and ask. I will do the best I can to find you the right answer. Enjoy this Great weather and hope you have enjoyed this issue of The Hort. Report.   

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