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News Story
Updated: 10/04/2013 06:23:41PM

Renew your garden for autumn

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GardGate092613A

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY AL SMOKE

Fertilizer comes in many different forms and formulations. For general use, look for a fertilizer blend with a low middle number. Phosphorus is usually adequate in our soils, and excess P pollutes waterways. Also look for fertilizer with at least some slow release or organic nitrogen. Use only as much fertilizer as is needed to maintain steady growth.

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ARCADIAN PHOTO BY AL SMOKE

Fall is a great time for growing herbs. Buy started plants and group them together for an instant herb garden or plant individual herbs in containers and place them in a sunny location. Most herbs prefer being somewhat on the dry side, but don’t let soil dry out completely.

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ARCADIAN PHOTO BY AL SMOKE

Plants need all the essential elements to grow. A soil high in organic matter contains microorganisms and earthworms and helps to make the nutrients more available to your plants. Fertilizers with high levels of nitrogen may harm microorganisms, but their populations rebound.

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The autumnal solstice was last week. Cooler drier weather will be on Mother Nature’s agenda, but we may have to wait a bit for it. It seems like we had a prodigious amount of rain this summer, but actually, we are just a bit above the normal mark for the year at this point.

Soils in many parts of the county were saturated for a good part of the summer. Too much water can be as stressful for plants as too little. Tiny feeder roots begin to die when they are in saturated soil, and the plant suffers from a lack of oxygen. Meanwhile, above ground the plant is trying to put out new growth, and it just can’t keep up.

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