NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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October 22, 2012 Horticulture Column


What a windy week we had, last week.  The wind was blowing (as I would say) mock 10.  My neighbors had brought me several feet of fall clean up leaves, for my garden, and surprisingly they remained in place very well, unlike other things in my yard.  I had one split rail fence post break of in the wind, who would have thought, and my daughter and son in law had a swing set get blown over in their back yard.  The yard is pretty protected so was very surprised to see it tipped on its side and is one of those big wood sets that has good stability to it besides.  Lauren said that Grandpa needs to come over and get it fixed for her and Aiden.  One last tidbit before I get into the meet of  the column today and that is I was in seeing the doctor last week and ran across a couple of old friends from the Edmore area.  Everyone knows Katie as she used to cook meals at the Edmore Café and is a sweet hart.  The other is a little stuborn gal (Cheryl) whose son was in school the same time our kids were.  Cheryl still has a little sponkyness to her yet but has mellowed over the years.  It was great talking to them as they did mention some garden issues and hopefully I can address them today.

The weather sounds like moisture in the forecast and would be a good time to add some fertilizer to your yard.  A pound per 100 square feet of grass of a high phosphorus fertilizer would be the answer.  We want our grass to start producing strong roots and weather protectant abilities by applying phosphorus.  A little nitrogen is o.k. but remember we want our grass to go into dormancy and applying nitrogen will tell our grass it should kick it into gear and start growing.  Secondly, this is also a great time of year to get those house plants organized and cleaned for the winter season ahead.  I KNOW that you cannot move all of your plants to a sink but those that you can washing them will help reduce insect infestations and any bugs that you find on plants that you cannot move there are products available to help reduce those pesky little rascals.  Dormant soap works really good in the house.  The last thing to mention is to think about placing some home defense around the perimeter of your home.  You apply “home defense” to the foundation of your home and it will really reduce the amount of insects looking for a warm winter season, in your house. Unfortunately, this will not stop box elder bugs.  The two above mentioned products can be purchased locally.

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