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HOW TO PRUNE FRUIT TREES & EVERGREEN HEDGES:
THINGS TO DO THIS MONTH — with excerpts from gardening gurus Mark & Ben Cullen’s Newsletter
Dig and divide. Perennials that flowered in early to mid summer can be dug up and divided. Replant the divisions around your yard in the appropriate places or give them away if you have run out of space. Be sure that the soil is moist when you dig up the mature perennial. If you’ve been keeping on top of weeding through the summer months, you will find September not too bad — Stay on top of it.
Plant spring flowering bulbs. The boat has arrived from The Netherlands and we recommend that you check out the selection at your favourite retailer for the best selection of the season. Fact is, they don’t replenish the ‘hard to find’ varieties of tulips, daffodils, narcissus, hyacinths and the like later in the fall season. Even if you just store your new purchases in your garage for a few weeks, at least you have the varieties and colours that you really want.
Compost: a. empty b. fill. Not to oversimplify this, but your garden needs the natural goodness that is contained in your backyard composting unit and your now-empty composting unit will provide a valuable service this autumn when the leaves fall and you yank your spent annuals and veggie plants out of the ground.
Continue fertilizing annuals and veggies for the remainder of the season. A 20-20-20 works fine or a 15-30-15 for flowering plants. Winter-hardy plants get their last fertilizer application before the fall. From here-onward they will take care of themselves, stashing sugars into their roots. Early season perennials can be cut back , such as veronica and roses. They should re-bloom in a month or two.
Prop-up your tall-growing perennials with stakes, such as rudbeckias, coneflowers, hydrangea (with their heavy flowering heads), phlox, etc. to prevent them from falling over.
Shop for new plants! As long as you water enough, planting in the heat of the summer is fine and by now, many of the garden centers are discounting their perennials and shrubs — You might just find a great deal!
Take care of your lawn. Fertilize your lawn with Wright’s Feeds 28 – 4 – 8 with 50% slow-release nitrogen fertilizer + 1% Iron — The results are incredible. Your lawn will be so green it will appear almost blue-green. If no rain is in forecast when you are applying your August lawn fertilizer, be sure to water the lawn deeply.
Thicken your lawn. August/September is the best time to sow grass seed. Where thin spots exist, spread quality lawn dresser mix 4 cm thick and rake smooth. Broadcast quality grass seed at the rate of 1 kg per 100 sq. meters. (~ 1 lb. to 200 sq.ft.) Rake this smooth, step on it with a flat-soled shoes and water to keep seed moist until germination. Remember that during drier times, keep watering the new seedlings if rain is scarce — don’t let dry out as it will kill them when they are young/small.
Tree fruits such as apples and pears can fall apart if you don’t stay attentive. Mark applies End All and Green Earth Garden Sulphur to keep insects and disease at bay. These two products are safe chemical alternatives which can be applied together to save time.
Harvest! If you didn’t have so much going on in your life, you could almost watch the produce turn ripe in your garden on a good growing day. Make sure you find time to walk the garden daily so you don’t miss anything at its peak.
If you’re looking at an excess harvest, remember to check with your local food bank whether they’re participating in the Plant a Row, Grow a Row program (https://www.growarow.org/).
Herbs. Plant them. Harvest them as needed. Don’t over water them. With the exception of basil, they love to get dry between watering.
Feed the birds — Use a quality seed mix so that it does not get wasted and you attract quality birds. Birds wintering in the south will be on their way back over the next month or so clean your feeders again and fill with Wright’s Premium Wild Bird Seed — Birds love it! Also available are sunflower seed, safflower seed, peanuts (both in and out of the shell), nyjer seed, lots of varieties of suet, corn cobs and lots of feeders for all types of backyard birds.
Participate in Project Feeder Watch –FeederWatch is a winter-long (November-April) survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. Participants periodically count the birds they see at their feeders and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. Your bird counts help you keep track of what is happening in your own backyard and help scientists track long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. With FeederWatch, your observations become part of something bigger. Click here to join.