Dormant Feeding of Young/Flowering Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Bulbs and Ground Covers – Key word: DORMANT. Dormant feeding can begin once we have had a killing frost and the majority of leaves have fallen from deciduous trees and shrubs. Typically, this occurs in late October when the growing season is over for all the plants in the landscape except the lawn. Fertilizing in the fall helps plants be hardier when the temperatures drop below freezing. We recommend applying fertilizer in late fall, toward the end of October or early November. This application will catalyze one last frenzy of root growth and really give your plants some staying power through the cold months. Small, shallow-rooted trees, shrubs and perennials should be fed with slow-release, organic-based granular fertilizers (We recommend Espoma fertilizers: Holly-tone, Plant-tone, Evergreen-tone.) generously distributed beneath the plants’ boughs (over the feeding roots) and watered in. For trees and larger shrubs, fertilizer spikes are a better choice. Punch holes 12-15” deep into the soil at the plants’ driplines, using 3 spikes for every 2” of trunk caliper (3’ off the ground). Drop the spikes into the holes, leave the holes open to be activated by rain/snowfall over the winter.
Pruning Trees and Shrubs; Transplanting In-Ground Trees and Shrubs – Again, all these activities need to be done during the DORMANT period of the growth cycle. Prune them now and you’ll have to deal with sprouting new growth that’ll need re-pruning before winter arrives or this new growth will be susceptible to winter damage. It’s fine to plant now, as long as you’re not digging plants for transplanting. You don’t want to disturb roots of established plants in the landscape until they are dormant, and roots don’t go dormant until the tops of the plants have gone dormant. We highly recommend Espoma’s Bio-tone Starter Plus fertilizer when planting or transplanting. Bio-tone Starter Plus is super charged with microbes and mycorrhizae to help new plants establish quickly, grow more robust root systems and experience less transplant shock. Your plants will thrive and you’ll be thrilled with the results! We, like most nurseries and garden centers run end of season sales on plants. This is a great opportunity to get quality shrubs, trees and perennials at the perfect time to plant them! Our Perennials and Shrubs are currently 30% off their regular price! Come on over and take a look.
Cutting Back Perennials – Perennials should be cut back to the ground every year, after the plants go dormant. Some people like to look at the perennial foliage over the winter (liriope, lilies, ornamental grasses, some irises, etc.). If this is your preference, leave them now and remember to cut them back in March, before the new growth starts. If you wait too long to cut back perennials in the spring, you may damage new growth as it sprouts. Or, if you prefer to look at clean beds over the winter, cut back all your perennials in the late fall, but wait until we’ve had the killing frost that will put them into dormancy.
Protecting Valuable Trees and Shrubs from Hungry Deer and Other Pests – As the growing season comes to a close, deer and other creatures in the wild will have a more difficult time finding sustenance in nature. This means they’ll most likely be visiting our valuable and vulnerable trees and shrubs even more frequently than they have been over the spring and summer. We have to maintain our vigilance with regular treatments of repellent products, or by erecting barriers that prevent them from gaining access to our landscapes. Lawn Depot sells a wide variety of liquid and granular repellents, as well as several types of cages and/or barriers to prevent access to the plants. Repellents should be re-applied every 2-3 weeks (regardless of what is stated on the container) for maximum effectiveness.
Birds in your yard – Bird watching is the nation’s second most popular pastime, right behind gardening. As natural food sources start to diminish, you can lend our feathered friends a helping hand by providing them a reliable food source. Once they find a continuous source of food they’ll set up camp in close proximity. The Lawn Depot carries a terrific selection of birdseed, feeders and accessories, including squirrel deterrent feeders. Our helpful staff can assist you in selecting feeders and birdfeed. Birdfeeders make a great gift!
There is still much to do in our yards, both lawns and landscapes. We hope you’ll visit us at the Lawn Depot soon and often over the next couple of months to make sure that you’re doing all you should be doing to make your homes and yards as beautiful and healthy as they can be.