Dormant Feeding of Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Ground Covers, and Bulbs – Dormant feeding can begin once the majority of leaves have fallen from deciduous trees and shrubs. This timing can be anywhere from mid to late October when the growing season is over for all the plants in the landscape except the lawn. Trees and shrubs (both evergreen and deciduous) and perennials are dormant at this time. The reason we feed these plants now is that they feed primarily through their roots. By applying fertilizers now on the surface or into the soil at the base of the plants, we’re allowing the nutrients to get into the feeding zone by the time the plants come to life next spring. We recommend that small, shallow-rooted trees and shrubs be fed with slow-release, organic-based granular fertilizers, 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 Shrubs and Trees; Cutting Back Perennials – As with dormant feeding, pruning and cutting back perennials, trees and shrubs shouldn’t be done until the plants are dormant. With these activities, there isn’t much danger to the plants if the removal is done too early; it’s just that new sprouts will emerge, necessitating an additional cutting later, after growth has ceased.
Planting in the Fall – October is still a great time of the year for planting trees, shrubs, perennials and lovely fall mums. The Lawn Depot is currently running an end of season sale on perennials & shrubs! Our nursery yard is still packed with lovely perennials, shrubs, mums, cabbage, kale & pansies that can enhance your landscape today and the future. We encourage you to come in and look around.
Spotted Lantern Fly control – Many of you have called us either reporting having seen them on your property or knowing someone who has. Penn State Cooperative Extension recommends protecting trees by applying a systemic drench of BioAdvanced Tree & Shrub or Bonide Annual Tree & Shrub in mid-fall or early spring. Bio-Advanced Insect, Disease & Mite is also recommended for contact and residual kill. You can get these protective measures at our garden center.
Protect Vulnerable Trees and Shrubs from Hungry Deer and Other Pests – Deer can decimate arborvitae, azaleas, hollies, and many other broad-leafed evergreens both now and when the ground is frozen and food is hard for them to find. Start applying products NOW to deter them from your valuable and vulnerable plants by REGULARLY treating them with DEER REPELLENT sprays and/or granules. Stay on top of repeat applications, applying slightly sooner than mentioned. Better safe than sorry.
Birding – 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
Remember, there’s still 6-8 weeks left in the fall season. There’s still a lot to do on lawns and in beds and the benefits of doing the job all the way to the end are tremendous. We hope all of you agree with this philosophy and that you’ll come in and see us several more times before calling it quits for the year. We’ll look forward to visiting with all of you at least 2-3 more times this year. Really. Come on in. We’d love to help you accomplish readying your lawns and landscapes this fall.