Friday, September 25, 2015

Powdery Mildew in the Fall

Late summer and early fall bring a lot of changes that are frustrating to a gardener. In particular this year I have seen folks worried about late season powdery mildew on many of their plants. While powdery mildew can be a big problem when it attacks plants early in the year, later in the year it is simply a part of the overall changes in the seasons.

Some organic gardeners recommend spraying with milk or other treatments, I say that late in the year you just need to accept change and let autumn come. Besides, the best use for milk in the fall is turning it into a hot cup of cocoa to sip while you watch the colors change!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Late Summer Sick Trees

Do you know what is ailing your tree in late summer?

This time of year I always get a few questions about sick trees, often times they were planted within the previous year. Sometimes the conversation goes like this:

Me: When did you notice the problem?
Client: Oh, for a while.
Me: Beginning of September?
Client: Yea, I guess so.
Me: What tells you the tree is sick?
Client: The leaves don't look right.
Me: What color are they?
Client: Kinda yellow and maybe some red. I guess there is some brown around the edges of the leaves.
Me: Are there spots or anything that might look like a fungus or infection?
Client: I mean the leaves are really sick looking, but there are no spots.
Me: I think I know what is causing the problem.
Client: Really? You didn't even look at the tree!
Me: You know I am good at what I do, don't you?
Client: Come on, please just help me. I don't want to lose my tree!
Me: Ok, your tree is having an onset of Early Autumn.
Client: What?
Me: Your tree is going dormant early. Some trees do it quicker than others. Some are a little stressed, but they got everything they needed in the summer, so they are turning color early. They will be fine.
Client: Are you sure they don't need to be sprayed or something?
Me: No they are fine.
Client: Could you come and look at them anyway?
Me: Sure, at my usual rate.
Client: What is that again?
Me: $100 an hour. One hour minimum.
Client: I'll let you know if things get worse.