When the snow finally disappears from the lawn in March, many homeowners are dismayed by the mole damage to their lawns. When the ground is not frozen under the security of deep snow, moles begin to plow up your favorite turf. To avoid winter mole damage to lawns and flower gardens, I suggest applying Repellex Mole Repellent soon. I have found one application of Repellex gives me four to five months of mole relief in our yard.
Now is the time to cut down all dormant perennial flower and leaf stems that have turned from their normal green. Leave stems six inches tall to help catch and hold snow. Next, and most important, feed perennial plants now. The following is George’s fertilizer that works very well in his perennial gardens. Mix well in a half bushel size container ½ bag of Dairy Doo organic composted cow manure, one cup of bone meal, one cup Myke’s Mycorrhizae and five cups of Plant Tone. Apply one cup of the mix around each medium size plant. Scratch in three inches deep. This is a sure formula for healthy, strong blooming perennial plants next year.
This is also the best time of year to fertilize deciduous shade trees. In November before the soil freezes, trees expand their root systems and store up energy for next spring’s growth. Homeowners who value their trees should care for them this autumn. I recommend using Tree Tone fertilizer around every tree. This is my proven method: pour one-half cup of Tree Tone in holes two feet apart under the tree. Drill feeding holes in three circles, one at the drip line, one five feet beyond, and another five feet inside the drip line. For oaks and nut trees, begin with the circle of feeding holes at the drip line and work back to the tree trunk. Use a tree feeding auger attached to a cordless drill to speed up the task. After feeding trees, irrigate them with two inches of water.
Feeding rose bushes in late autumn is the secret for more vigorous plants and blooms next season. Fertilize rose bushes the first week in November with one-third cup Super Phosphate and five pounds of composted cow manure. Cultivate this mixture in three inches deep around each rose bush.
Autumn soil moisture for woody plants is critical for the ability of trees and shrubs to absorb mineral nutrients and translocate foods to storage before leaf fall. One or two good, long soakings can help your trees and shrubs to better acclimate for winter. This is especially true for plants planted this year that have not established their root systems as well as older plantings. Lastly, do not underestimate the importance of mulch in conserving soil moisture. Mulch also helps insulate the soil and protects roots during the early cold snaps.
Now is the time to begin applying rabbit and deer repellents to plants susceptible to winter feeding. Many of you have seen deer damage to landscape and native plants increase tremendously. Both deer and rabbits begin to browse on woody plants after the first hard frost. I recommend Repellex Deer and Rabbit Repellent to protect valuable plants. Repellex can be purchased in a pre-mixed sprayer or as a concentrate and applied with any compression hand sprayer. For best protection, spray now, in mid-December, and again in February.
Whenever you have gardening questions, feel free to come to Wedel’s Nursery, Florist, and Garden Center, your twelve-month horticultural center. Just because the gardening season is mostly over doesn’t mean the we’re closed! Our experienced Michigan Certified Nursery Specialists and Master Gardeners are always happy to help you any day, any season.