Sure signs 0f autumn

Suddenly it became October and the weather changed drastically!

One of my friends laughed and said, “We would love this weather if it was spring.” I have to admit I actually turned the furnace on for a day to take the chill off the house. It is time to load the front porch with wood and get the wood stove ready.

One of my favorite garden authors, Margaret Roach, writes that she become frantic in the fall because of all the items on her check list. In her newsletter she shares her seven-point program (to help us all focus) that includes:

1. Leave especially ornamental or wildlife-friendly plants standing.

2. Remove sickly things first. Destroy the debris to minimize next year’s issues with squash bugs, cabbage worms, voles, and other pests and diseases.

3. Stabilize woody plants: Identify any vulnerable limbs, removing broken or dead branches now to make sure winter weather doesn’t worsen things.

4. Gather leaves, and even start a leaves-only compost pile.

5. Late-season lawn care: Do your heavy raking now and overseed if there’s still time where you live.

6. Protect or store weather-vulnerable pots: At a minimum, move pots under cover, where they will at least dry off (to minimize heave/thaw effects of weather).

7. Weed! Besides cleaning up around diseased plants, this is a giant “must”. Even if you can’t weed, exactly, deadhead your weeds now. Fewer seeds now, fewer weeds next year.

If you are interested in learning about other gardening maintenance that should take place in the fall, plan to attend the garden seminar on Oct. 15 at the Mt. Orab campus of Southern State Community College. OSUE Brown County Master Gardener Volunteer, Doug Dyer, will talk about fall lawn care and other tasks on our fall “chore” list. The seminars are free and open to the public and will meet in Room 107 starting at 7 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m.

Autumn always means road trips for us and this past weekend we ended up down close to Portsmouth at a Sorghum Festival. The smell of the wood fire and the warm sorghum syrup certainly signaled the end of summer.

Sorghum Submitted photo

By Faye Mahaffey

OSUE Brown County Master Gardener Volunteer