September Tips & Tasks

Powdery mildew on lilac

Powdery mildew on lilac

  • Powdery mildew may be seen now on many trees, shrubs, and perennials, like pin oak, roses, lilac, phlox, peonies, and monarda. This fungal disease favors high humidity but unlike other fungi does not require wet weather to thrive. It usually appears on plant foliage as a grayish, powdery coating on upper leaf surfaces. When possible select resistant cultivars. No chemical control is necessary.
  • Apply lawn fertilizer in the fall and fertilize according to the UME fertilizer schedule.  Make sure to sweep any fertilizer that lands on sidewalks or driveways back onto grassy areas.
  • Time to plant cover crops to protect and improve the soil in your vegetable beds.
  • Hold off pruning trees and shrubs until later in the fall into the winter. Pruning stimulates growth and any new growth produced now will not have a chance to harden off before winter.
  • Plant garlic now through mid-November for a July 4 harvest next year. Plant the cloves root end down; space them 4-6 inches apart and cover with 1-2 inches of soil. Mulch the garlic bed with fallen tree leaves.

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