Here’s this week’s Garden Calendar from Lisa Johnson, Dane County UW-Extension horticulture educator:
“Fall clean-up: Rake up fallen tree/shrub leaves and compost them if healthy. If you have had significant diseases such as downy mildew, apple scab, rose blackspot, powdery mildew, buckeye/horse chestnut foliar diseases or anthracnose, take them to the yard waste center where they can be hot-composted and properly destroyed.
I have had a number of questions this year about composting maple leaves with maple tar spot. Maple tar spot is a foliar disease that attacks Norway and silver maples most commonly, forming dime-size or larger raised black lesions with yellow haloes on the leaves. Since this is basically a cosmetic disease, you don’t need to worry too much about composting these leaves, even if you don’t have a hot compost pile. Spores may survive if you don’t hot-compost (pile temperatures need to reach 135 degrees F to kill most pathogens and weed seeds), but this is not a particularly virulent disease. A fact sheet is available at http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/pddc/fact-sheet-listing/ under the title “Tar Spot.”
Do not compost leaves, twigs or fruit from black walnut or butternut trees. They contain juglone, which inhibits the growth of many plants and could affect plants growing wherever you deposit the compost. For vegetable gardens, if you have not experienced foliar/plant diseases, (such as tomato early blight, late blight or Septoria leafspot) the leaves can be composted. If not, dispose of as recommended for diseased tree leaves above. If you have had squash vine borer or cabbage looper caterpillars, be sure to remove and dispose of all plant debris as these pests can overwinter in the debris and return to haunt you next season.
If you have finished compost in your compost pile, you can spread it and till it into vegetable garden beds so they are all ready to go next spring. Be sure to bring in any clay or ceramic pots that are still outside so they don’t crack as the temperatures continue to fall. Empty rain barrels and unhook from downspouts or cap them off so they don’t refill and crack during winter thaw events. Clean out gutters after leaves fall so that you don’t end up with a lot of ice dams over winter.”
Today’s video is Asphalt Roof Installation featuring Lindus Construction. We at Home Remodeler Blog want to recognize and thank those brave professionals who are still working to repair and replace homeowners’ roofs in these harsh temperatures so they’ll be protected this winter!
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