Tip of the Week
Fall Garden Clean Up
Spending a little time on garden clean up in the fall can help reduce the incidence of disease in your garden next year.
Many common plant diseases, such as rust, botrytis, powdery mildew, and anthracnose, can overwinter in the old dead foliage left in your garden and reinfect your plants the following year. Good sanitation in the garden in the fall can lead to fewer disease problems the following growing season.
What you should do
Rake up . . .
- all leaves from under native dogwoods (may harbor anthracnose spores).
- all leaves and plant debris from under rose bushes as black spot can overwinter here.
- all leaves and dropped fruit from under fruit trees, crabapples, and grapes. The fungi that cause diseases, like scab on apples and crabapples, black rot of grapes, and brown rot of stone fruits, produce spores that overwinter in the fallen leaves and mummified fruit left on the ground.
Do not compost the leaves and other plant debris that is removed. It is safest to discard it in your trash.
Cut back and remove . . .
- the foliage of herbaceous perennials that showed signs of diseases like powdery mildew, botrytis, rust, and other fungal diseases.
- This is especially important for peonies, phlox, asters, hollyhocks, and Monarda.
Do not put the clippings or leaves in the compost - it is safest to discard this plant material in the trash.