Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall Yard care - after the drought

FALL YARD CARE –after the drought
by  Tammy Jensen

The summer of 2011 has been great if you love the beach! However if you like to garden it has been a challenging year. The spring brought us too much water, and July brought us too little water! The plants has suffered from fungus, mildew, blights, and infestations of aphids, red lily beetle, and more. Our lawns are green only in patches. Those patches (at least on my lawn) seem to be weeds. The actual grass appears to have gone into dormancy for the year. There is though some things you can do to help get your yard back on track. Here is a fall guide to help you give your yard a boost so that it will be back in shape for the 2012 gardening season.

  • Spot treat visible weeds with “Killex”.
  • Instead of fertilizing this fall apply “Myke Turf”. Fertilizing could burn the dry stressed grass. “Myke Turf” will not burn, and is a natural product. It reduces    watering needs, and increases drought tolerance. It will also promote root growth, to give you a more lush lawn next year.
  • Rake and clean up all leaves and debris from lawn.
  • Top-dress and over seed to improve the appearance of your lawn. This can be done after the 15th of October.
  • Spray with “Plantskyd” to protect against vole damage. This can be done at the end of October or before snowfall.
  • Cut the grass short to a height of 2 ½” at the end of October. A lower height will help soil dry more quickly in the spring. This will also help prevent vole damage.

  • Dig up and discard annuals, and vegetable plants to put in your compost pile. Dig up and discard any weeds in the garbage. Rake up any fallen leaves and debris in your flower beds. Fallen leaves can hold diseases that may overwinter.
  •  Remove summer bulbs and store in peat moss or vermiculite indoors for the winter.
  •  Apply “Liquid Gypsum” to your flowers beds, and gardens. This can safely be sprayed on soil as well as plants. It is a soil conditioner that will soften hard and clay soils. It also improves soil drainage and helps maintain a healthy balance of nutrients for the plants.
  •  Get your beds ready for fall planting or spring gardening. Add organic matter such as peat moss, coco, compost, or soil booster. This can help improve aeration and drainage, as well as supply nutrients. This can be done in addition to liquid gypsum to give the soil a really good boost for next year.
  • Plant your tulips using bulb food and fresh garden soil. Soak the bulbs in “Plantskyd” prior to planting to prevent squirrels from digging them up!
  • Plant shrubs, evergreens, and perennials. Early fall planting gives new plants enough time to get their roots established before winter. Use a growth supplement such as “Myke” to help stimulate healthy roots, and prevent transplant shock.


  •  A treatment of “Myke” can be given to any shrubs or trees that have been stressed or not growing well. This is done by putting holes in the ground around the root ball of the shrub or tree. The “Myke” is poured down the holes, then watered in.
  •  If your plants have had problems with fungus, mold, mildew, blight, or insects Dormant Oil will prevent these from wintering over. It can be applied once the leaves have dropped if the temperature is above 5 °C. It also can be applied in early spring when the buds on the plants are swollen, but before they leaf out.
  •  Perennials can be moved or split safely now. Use a growth supplement such as “Myke” to stimulate new root growth.
  •  Apply “Plantskyd” to protect from winter animal damage. Skoot can be used as an alternative but not until plants are dormant. (leaves have dropped) Be sure to spray as high as animals can reach after the snow has fallen. Be sure to spray right to ground level to prevent vole damage on the base of trees.
  •  Spring flowering perennials can be cut back. Fall flowering perennials can be left to enjoy over the winter.
     At the end of October peat moss can be mounded around sensitive plants and perennials to protect over winter.
     Water regularly till the ground is frozen.

  • If evergreens have been stressed over the summer a treatment of “Myke “ around the roots will help it repair any root damage that may have occurred.
  • Throughout September and October water evergreens weekly so they can build up their water stores until spring. The moisture is important to help them through our harsh winters.
  • Any cedars that are in a sunny location can be sprayed with an antitranspirant “Wilt-Pruf” to protect against spring moisture loss.
  • Any newly planted cedars can be protected with burlap and a frame made with wooden stakes. It is very important that the burlap does not touch the cedars.

Posted by Tammy Jensen at 1:31 PM 1 Comments

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Aphids, Fungus, and Lily Beetle

Aphids, the Lily Beetle...............but, Few Mosquitoes!!!
Summer…… last!!!
We have been so fortunate to finally be enjoying summer and all the lovely warm weather, with little rain. We are able to sit out on our balconies and in our backyards at night and enjoy the sweet aromas of alyssum, lilies, heliotrope and many other fragrant flowers, and be out during the day to enjoy the beauty of the season, without being bothered by the pesky mosquito. We have to enjoy every moment! We must bow down to our City Entomologist, Taz Stuart and his staff for removing Winnipeg of the title of Mosquito capital of Canada. Edmonton has the honours now! We’re able to enjoy our backyards and our parks and our great outdoors! Great work guys!!!

But, if you haven’t been vigilante in checking your flowers and vegetables regularly, now is the time of the season where you will notice some damage. I have been battling aphids on my ‘Pretty Much Picasso’ petunias for the last month or so. I’ve been spraying them every few days with about ½ tsp. of dish soap in about a litre of water. Some days I’m not sure I’m winning the battle!!! But, I know it is being kept under control. My petunias are doing quite well actually. I stopped by to visit a few of my friends in the last week. My friend Jennifer knew something was eating her prize lilies, but, didn’t realize it was the dreaded Lily beetle. My friend, Mona, was also in the same situation. She has so many lilies; she’s barely keeping up with the infestation. In the adult form, the Lily Beetle is bright red in colour and may even be seen on neighbouring plants, however, it is your lilies they are enjoying. The best thing to do is get a pail of water and hand pick the beetles, putting them into the water and then disposing of them. Using Neem is an effective way to control them, as is End All 1 and Malathion. Check out the Manitoba Lily Society website at for further information. Be vigilante; learn to be able to recognize them in all stages. If they’ve eaten most of the leaves of your lilies, allow the remaining leaves and stem to die back on their own, as this is replenishing the bulb for next year. Once the stem and leaves have turned brown, just give the stem a twist and pull it out. Disturb the ground around the lilies in the fall and dispose of all the dried stems and leaves.
Fungus is also prevalent this year with all the moisture around and the cooler nights earlier on in the summer. Control the fungus on your plants by mixing 1 Tablespoon of baking soda with 1 litre of water and then spraying on your plants every few days. Try to spray them before you really get hit with a powdery mildew or fungus. Never spray your plants with anything when the sun is shining on them, as this may burn your plants. Spraying in the early morning is best, if possible.
Should the home recipes for your infestation or fungus fail and you need something stronger, please drop by Jensen's for the product for the solution to your problem! 
And smile. No Mosquitoes!!!

For the kids:
What did the Fast Tomato say to the Slow Tomato?

Answer: Ketchup!!!

by Arlene Wheeler
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 12:44 PM 1 Comments