For lawns, one of the best times to fertilize is the last time you cut your grass in the fall. I suspect that for many of you this has passed but if you didn’t apply a late fall fertilization consider doing so now. The root system of our plants continues to grow and gather nutrients until the soil gets really cold which is long past the air temperatures turning chilly. This late fall fertilization and gathering of nutrients by the roots of the grass plants leads to a better spring start.
For this last fertilization, use 1 lb of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. In this case it doesn’t mean just 1 lb of a fertilizer but an appropriate amount according to the percentage nitrogen of your fertilizer. For example with a fertilizer such as ammonium sulfate, which is 21-0-0, 21 percent of that fertilizer is actual nitrogen, which would mean that about 5 lbs of that product should be applied over each 1,000 square feet of lawn.
November into December is still a great time to plant garlic. Choose a sunny well-drained spot, add some compost and use 1 to 2 lbs per 100 square feet of an all-purpose fertilizer, that’s 1 to 2 lbs of the actual product. Plant single cloves with the pointed end up 1 to 3 inches deep and about 4 inches apart in rows 6 to 10 inches apart. Know that the larger the clove the larger the resulting bulb of garlic at harvest time. The root system will develop over the winter resulting in a stronger plant that shoots up leaves next spring. For those garlic lovers you will appreciate this next summer when you are digging up those big gorgeous bulbs.
Lastly, if you brought in plants that sat outside all summer beware of fungus gnats. These are small flying insects that you might have seen buzzing around the house in past winters. The larvae of fungus gnats can live in the soil whether outside in the garden or in the soil of your potted plants that were sitting outside. Once those plants are brought inside, the warm temperatures lead to the larvae pupating into adults. These adults if not controlled will lay more eggs, potentially even in the soil of houseplants that weren’t taken outside, thus making more larvae and in a few weeks look at all the new small flying friends you could have! If that is not what you want, a neat, environmentally friendly solution is to use Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis, which kills fungus gnat larvae. Products with this vary so read the label but generally you mix with water and water your houseplant soil. It can take a few applications to get total control since you need to control the adults as well. For the adults use yellow sticky cards or vacuum them up since they like hanging out around the plants or on windowsills.
Previous articles can be found on The Times-Independent website. If you have a topic you would like to know more about call the Utah State University Extension Grand County office at 259-7558 or email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.