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October brings cooler days and colder nights. This brings a lot of changes to the Rim Country. Colorful leaves and yellowing of inner needles of pine and spruce is both natural and distressing. Left alone, this problem will take care of itself. If you feel that you have to do something, spray the pines and spruces with a systemic fungicide such as Agri-Fos. As a fall spray, it will control fungus and root rot diseases. But mostly, you will feel like you did all you could for your trees.
All in all, October is a big gardening month. Now is the time to PLANT!
Autumn – Autumn is not called FALL for nothing. Leaves, often colorful at this time of year, are falling right and left creating nature’s carpet of mulch without much help from us gardeners.
However, these leaves can be made to improve our garden beds with proper attention. Shredded leaves make one of the best mulches you can ask for. Shredding avoids having the leaves pack down as they get wet thus creating an anaerobes layer which could be damaging to the plant below. Packed down leaves could smother the plants you are trying to protect. Shredding prevents this action to the benefit of the dormant plants.
When spreading mulch, such as shredded leaves, make the layer about three to six inches thick. More than six inches could create a choking layer that must be avoided.
It is not too late to apply mulch for the remaining winter. Leaves are still falling, and after a few freezes, the ground is ready for mulching. The goal with a winter mulch is to keep plants dormant without the damaging effect that thaws and freezes can have.
Anytime in winter, when leaves are available, is a good time for mulching in the Payson area. However, don’t forget to rake away the mulch in the spring when new plant growth begins.