For many gardeners and farmers, October is another favourite month of the year. It’s the month of harvest, beautiful fall colours, the last month to enjoy the outdoors before the bite of winter is in the air and Thanksgiving celebrations bring together family & friends.
Evenings are cooler, morning dew is heavy (great for starting grass seed & fall crops), the sun still has significant strength even if the daylight hours are shortening, veggie harvest is finishing up and the harvest has begun for soybeans and corn is drying down nicely — What is not to like?
LOTS GOING ON AT WRIGHT’S FEEDS ‘N NEEDS:
Soybean harvesting & fall wheat planting are in full swing; Flower and vegetable garden harvesting and cleaning up; Mulching gardens to prevent weeds; Fly & pest control of home and garden critters; Lots and lots of grass cutting, even still….. and the leaf raking and mulching has begun.
Building and mending field fences and putting up new electric fencing areas; Feeding the summer flocks of songbirds, hummingbirds & orioles as they head to their warm winter home; Keeping farm equipment in peak condition for the fall harvest — never a dull moment around the farm, garden & home.
THINGS TO DO IN YOUR GARDEN THIS MONTH: (excerpts from Mark’s Cullen’s Newsletter)
Harvest. No doubt the bounty is coming fast, and it’s hard to keep up — If it’s ready, pick it, pull it or dig it. Carrots, kale and leeks improve with frost so don’t be in a hurry to bring them into storage.
Compost. Clear out that composter and apply directly to the surface of your vegetable garden. Don’t worry about digging it in, as the existing vermiculture (worms) in the soil are eager to bring those nutrients from the soil surface and down to the roots in the form of nitrogen rich worm castings. If you don’t have a composter, now is the time to start one so that you can have fresh compost in time for spring planting.
Feed the birds. If you stopped feeding your wild birds in the summer, now is a good time to fill your feeders. Clean them before you set them up and start with Wright’s Premium Wild Bird Seed — Birds love it and it is great value.
Cut and enjoy. If you still have summer flowers like dahlias and zinnias lingering in your garden, be sure to cut some and bring them indoors to enjoy. Decorate your Thanksgiving table with them!
Sow grass seed or lay sod. Use Lawn Dresser Mix to top-dress your patchy areas. Grass is a ‘cool season’ crop and loves our lower evening temperatures, shorter days and heavy morning dew.
Dig and divide. Perennials with ‘fleshy’ roots split well this time of year. Go for it….
Apply lawn fertilizer Golfgreen Iron Plus, the most sophisticated lawn fertilizer on the Canadian market, to your established lawn now. Apply fall fertilizer blend with higher phosphorus and potassium (like 6-24-24) in late October or early November.
Apply a fungicide mixture as a spray to all tomato plants to prevent early and late blight — apply every two weeks all summer. Use a copper or sulphur based fungicide (like Bordo or generic equivalent) to treat them. Spray the leaves until they are dripping wet. It is best to use this spray when it is cloudy or first thing in the morning. Avoid using in full sun when it is very hot outside — you could inadvertently burn the leaves when any fungicide is applied in full sun.
Plan. Pay attention to the crops you’re picking from your garden. If you’re like us, you probably took a chance on at least a couple new varieties this year. What were you happy with? What will you do away with for next year? There is no better place to experiment than in the garden, and now is the best time to take stock of your successes. Next season, be sure to rotate your veggie crops around your yard to minimize disease and insect problems.
Hang out a hummingbird feeder. This is a non-food related task, but it’s important to remember that, in most parts of Canada, they are returning from the far north on their long trip south, and they need food! Remember to put out a feeder so that they can fuel up and accumulate enough energy for the journey.
Plant fall flowering sedum, asters, mums, Japanese anemone, rudbeckia (well, it has been blooming for a few weeks now). Check out the selection at your local garden retailer.
Plant Holland bulbs! Not all bulbs are from Holland, but most of the spring flowering bulbs that we plant now are. And note that Holland is not a country, it is a province within the Netherlands — Who knew. Well, the Dutch enjoy telling me this one.
Cut back early flowering perennials like Shasta daisies, veronica etc. Who knows, they might flower again before the snow flies!
Keep fertilizing your annual flowers in baskets, planters and also flowering perennials in your gardens. All of the plants that will die this fall benefit from regular feeding through the balance of the season — I use Plant Prod 15-30-15 water soluble fertilizer on my container plants every week.
NEW GARDEN “How-To” VIDEOS
Last month, Mark Cullen & son, Ben, had a great time shooting new videos in the garden. Introducing 3 new gardening videos that will inform and entertain you.
Check them out:
ORDERING YOUR BACKYARD POULTRY CHICKS:
Our 2017 Backyard Flock day-old bird orders are finished for this year — Watch for new order form, delivery dates and price list in February 2018.
Ready-To-Lay Pullets 2017 Order Form — Note: There may be one more order this fall if customer numbers warrant — Place your order soon. Download our new order form and get your name on our order/waiting list for our next delivery date (TBA) for laying hens delivered to our store for your pickup. We try to bring in a load of ready-to-lay hens once per month from April to October but frequency depends upon order volume numbers, hen availability and delivery truck scheduling.
We can’t set a pre-determined date as it’s not an exact science for when our order will arrive. Simply place your order with us and we will contact you when we know when delivery date to our store will be — You can decide then if this date works for you. Unfortunately, we don’t carry birds over to after delivery date — Hens must be picked up delivery day. ***Please note: Our policy for any orders of six birds or less must be paid when ordering.
For feeding your feathered friends, we have all the bird feeders, feed, peanuts, suet and other backyard wildlife supplies to keep them visiting your back yard.
Follow this link: ‘YOUR BIRDS & WILDLIFE’ to visit our page where you’ll find valuable information on both hosting and deterring backyard wildlife.
For those who enjoy seeing deer graze on their property, Wright’s Feeds ‘N Needs manufactures their own custom Deer Mix that will attract deer to visit plus we stock whole corn, grains, deer & salt blocks.
***Sorry, our custom deer mix is available only in fall & winter seasons when there is less access to food for deer in the wild.
News and Events:
Durham Farm Connections to honour 150 years of farming in Durham Region: To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, Durham Farm Connections is recognizing farm families who have been farming continually in Canada since 1867, and are still farming in Durham today. If you are a member of, or know of a family who meets this criteria, please complete the Farm Family Information Form (PDF) to apply. The families will be honoured at the Durham Farm Connections Celebrate Agriculture Gala on October 26.
HOLD THE DATE! Friday November 3rd is a special day on the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute calendar: we celebrate our 2nd anniversary with none other than Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell. We will hear what she has to say about our campaign to plant 2 million trees along the Highway of Heroes, 117,000 for our war dead and more than 1.8 million for each Canadian who volunteered during times of war. There will be a ceremonial tree planting and several hundred trees to plant after the ceremony. Come on out, wear your boots and get ready to get dirty.
Starts at 10 am — Meadowvale and Hwy 401, Scarborough — Details can be found here.
Durham150.ca: Durham Tourism, in partnership with Central Counties Tourism, will be launching Durham150.ca–a collaborative online resource that highlights local events and initiatives happening throughout the region this year, in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary as a nation. Featuring the best of what the region has to offer, Durham150.ca will provide a platform for local tourism stakeholders to share their Canada 150 events and initiatives, and the stories behind them–from family fun and festivals, to arts and cultural experiences, and so much more. Set to launch on June 7, Durham150.ca, will be an online resource to learn about all of the celebrations and experiences taking place across Durham. To learn more about Regional initiatives, please visit www.investdurham.ca.
The new 2017 Durham Farm Fresh brochure is available!: This brochure features helpful resources and references for Durham residents, including a map of Durham that outlines where to find seasonal Farm Fresh products at farms and farm markets across Durham Region. The brochure is available to download online, and is also available at different locations across the region, including The Regional Municipality of Durham Headquarters in Whitby. For more information, visit Durham Farm Fresh.
2016 Agriculture Census data available: The 2016 Census of Agriculture is now available and provides an overview of the nation’s agriculture industry and farm operators and families. Learn more about the 2016 Agriculture Census.
The Durham Region 5 Million Trees Program is part of the Durham Community Climate Change Local Action Plan, with the goal of increasing forest cover in the region by approximately 2,800 hectares. To be eligible, landowners must have 2.5 acres of non-agricultural land to plant. Forests Ontario plants the trees at a highly subsidized rate and checks their survival at various intervals in the following few years. Learn more about Durham Region’s 5 Million Trees Program.
The On-Farm Childcare Program, offered by Durham Farm and Rural Family Resources (DFRFR), is designed to provide quality child care for farm families who reside in Durham where at least one of the parents’ primary source of income is through a farm operation. The program operates from May to September and allows parents to concentrate on farm work during peak times, without having their children in the workplace. Learn more about the On Farm Childcare Program.