Article by: County Ag Agent Mike Reed
Beekeepers have additional funds
The Powell County Beekeepers Association met last Tuesday and have a few funds left in this year to assist beekeepers or beginning beekeepers this fall. Applications for up to $150 per producer cost share will be available on Monday, Oct. 19 at the Powell County Extension Office.
Funds for this program will be for the purchase of beekeeping supplies, and or medicines to treat bees with this fall. The cost share will be for $150 (you spend $300/ get half back).
Again applications will be available on Oct. 19 and applications must be post marked and mailed by Oct. 26. For more details contact me at 663-6405.
Out in the Yard and Garden
This upcoming weekend, Old Jack Frost may take any or all of our flowers and vegetables, but there is still yard work that can be done here in the middle of October. When the frost has burnt down the tops of your cannas, dahlias and elephant ears, go ahead and dig up these bulbs, store in dry peat moss, straw or sand and put them to bed for the winter in a dry cool area where the bulbs won’t freeze during the winter such as a basement or under the house.
If you want to divide and share some of your spring flowering perennial plants such as irises, peonies and daylilies, now is the time to dig, divide and re-plant. If you don’t need all the plants you dig up, share them with your family, friends or friendly County Agent.
If tulips are what you want around the house and garden next spring, now is the time to purchase these bulbs at local nurseries and garden centers, while supplies last. Try to get them planted 6-8” in the ground sometime between now and Thanksgiving. Spring bulbs planted now should bloom next March and April. If you want spring flowers blooming around Christmas, bulbs such as tulips and paper-white narcissus can be forced inside next month to be enjoyed during the holidays.
The last tomatoes and peppers of the season may still be on the vine out in the garden. Bring all the last green tomatoes in and either store them in the crisper of your refrigerator, or wrap them in newspaper and store them in the basement, cellar or under the house. Doing this now should guarantee a few fresh tomatoes up until the holidays.
Don’t forget about the plants out on the front porch. Whenever the weather man predicts forty degree weather or less, it’s time to bring those plants in. Hopefully you have already done this last weekend, if temperatures dropped to 38 or below. Check plants individually-are they really worth saving first of all? Ferns, for example, are beautiful now, but once brought indoors will start to shed leaves everywhere and eventually be thrown out along with the poinsettias in January, if you keep them that long!
Bring in the Christmas Cactus and get them prepared for the holidays .These plants can actually be focal points for your holiday decorating . If plants are worth saving, are they filled with creepy crawlers such as spiders, aphids and scale? You certainly don’t want these bugs inside so spraying them with a light application of an insecticide such as malathion will take away any unwanted pests. Always read and follow the label directions. Spray these lightly outdoors and let dry before bringing indoors. Now may also be a good time to re-pot any plants that have grown all summer and are root bound. Once inside, hold off the fertilizer and water only when plants become dry-probably no more than every 10 days or so. These plants will need as much sunshine as you have inside your home to maintain their color, but are basically being placed in dormancy for four months.
October is the best month of the year to plant trees and shrubs around your home or in the landscape. Trees and shrubs planted now are beginning to go dormant and will have plenty of soil moisture to enjoy during the winter months. By the time spring is here, the plants will be over transplant shock and will be ready to send out new leaves in your yard. On top of that, these plants are usually on sale now at your favorite nursery or department store because storing these plants over the winter is not usually cost effective. Not only is October the best time of the year for planting from the tree’s standpoint, it also is easier on the home owners pocket-book as well.
While yard work, or at least the mowing of the yard, may be over for this year, we still need to prepare for next year’s yard. Apply split applications of ammonium nitrate in October, November and again in late December for a greener, lush lawn next spring. Approximately 3 pounds of ammonium nitrate per 1,000 square feet each time you fertilize is an ample amount of nitrogen to get grass growing next spring. While complete fertilizers such as 10-10-10 can be used, older, more established lawns only the added benefit from Ammonium Nitrate. Now is also the time to go out in the garden or yard and bring in a soil sample for the crop of 2009. Free soil sample bags are available at the Extension Office. We’ll even let you borrow a soil probe to get the job done. Contact the Powell County Extension Office at 663-6405 for more details concerning your fall farm & garden needs.