Fall greetings to everyone!
It’s certainly starting to feel like it more and more every day — soybeans starting to yellow and drop leaves, corn ears drooping, apple harvest going on, county fair season coming to an end, college football and cool nights and days getting shorter. Where did our summer go?
As fall approaches there are a few things we can do to get ready whether you are a farmer or a gardener.
For your lawn and garden, our first frost will be coming roughly the middle of October. But make time to plant any of your spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips and hyacinths.
Now is a good time to plant fall crops such as lettuce, arugula and spinach. We planted ours a couple weeks back and they are looking good.
If you have any lawn re-seeding to do, now is a good time for that. Weeds are less competitive, and rainfall and moisture are plentiful.
You can begin to remove any garden crops that have seen their useful life come to an end and sow any cover crop seeds on any beds that will be empty over the winter.
If you have any potted trees, now is the perfect time for fruit trees and deciduous ornamental trees. Wait until spring on evergreens.
It’s a good time to empty your compost bins and mulch your garden beds. The compost will feed the soil over the winter and help prepare it for spring crops.
Won’t be long until rodents will be looking for a warm place to go and your garden shed could be a target. Clean it out, put out mice traps.
Clean your garden tools of muck and rust and empty your rain barrels and don’t forget to put away your rain gauge so it doesn’t freeze.
If you have a greenhouse or polytunnel, clean them out. Will be better for overwintering plants you may have in there.
Wash any bird feeders and bird baths. Make sure your feeders are topped off.
And it won’t be long until our farmers will be on the roads with large equipment so be patient, give them the right of way and don’t pass on double yellows or curves.
Farmers: Almost time to reap the rewards of all your hard work this summer.
Every year we try to be safe but long days, long nights and fatigue can lead to accidents. Take the time to do a walk around your equipment, keep them clean so fires are not an issue. Make sure your fire extinguisher is handy and charged.
Some of you will be sowing wheat this fall after the beans are off. Use a good quality seed with a seed treatment that protects diseases and insects. Planting before the Hessian Fly Date is not recommended — which is Sept. 22 for northern counties and Oct. 5 for southern counties.
Doing so puts the crop at risk for Hessian Fly, which carry the Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus.
Lastly, consider a fall burn-down program. Typically applied mid-September to early December, doing this application gives you a leg up on hard-to-control winter annuals. You’ll get better conditions in no-till in the spring, plus it helps spread the work load out.
Talk to your retailer, lots of options out there and they work. Do a side-by-side or leave an untreated strip to see how it performed.
Until next time. Dave Case signing off. Email me if you have questions or comments: [email protected]
A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Dave Case majored in Agronomy and Ag Econ with an emphasis in Weed Science. Dave’s career spanned Champaign Landmark, Crow’s Hybrid Corn Company and Bayer CropScience. In 2018, Case formed Case Ag Consulting LLC.
He is a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Agricultural Fraternity and Alpha Zeta Agricultural Honorary. He is on the Board of Directors of the Agribusiness Association of Kentucky, Chairman of the Ohio AgriBusiness Association Educational Trust Foundation and Secretary of the Alpha Gamma Rho Alumni Board. He is also a Champaign County Historical Society Agricultural Capital Campaign Committee Member and is a Trustee for the Champaign County Farm Bureau. Dave and his wife Dorothy live on a small farm south of Urbana where they raise goats, chickens and various crops. Dave can be reached at [email protected]