Welcome, visitor!   Register   Login

Post an Ad
Menu Post an Ad

Linda’s List: This Month’s Gardening Tasks

    Farm & Garden    October 1, 2017

The golden days of fall are such a delight…but they do remind us that there are things to do before winter:

All you Brussels sprout growers, if you haven’t done so, this is the week to pinch out the tips of the plants to hasten the growth of the sprouts along the stem. If you have good-sized sprouts forming already, you don’t necessarily have to do this, but if your plants only have tiny little sprouts at this point, do force them to make sprouts by pruning the tops. If the plants don’t develop their crop this fall, you won’t be getting sprouts this winter.

Cleanup: If your apple trees had scabby apples this year, be extra careful to rake up all the fallen apple leaves and compost them. Not to worry if the compost heats up or not—as long as the leaves decompose by spring, the overwintering spores of apple scab will die. Also, those squash leaves with powdery mildew are fine to put into the compost pile. Things it would be best not to compost: tomato plants with late blight, diseased potatoes or other roots crops with symptoms of root diseases (especially garlic and onions). Leaves with rust diseases, such as leeks and garlic, can also be composted. For photos of apple scab, garlic rusts and other problems, see my database of pest and disease photos.

Garlic Planting: Later in October is an ideal time to plant garlic for next summer’s harvest. Earlier planting in warm, dry soil increases the risk of infection from a very common disease called Blue Mold Rot (Penicillium spp.). The fungus spreads on the garlic cloves, so if you plant healthy garlic and plant after the soil has become cooler and wetter, there is little likelihood of infection. Enrich the soil with compost, lime the soil if it needs it, and plant only the most perfect, unblemished cloves. Once fall leaves are available, put a good thick layer of leaves over the garlic bed to insulate the roots and protect the soil from heavy rainfall.

Tree Bands: If winter moth caterpillars ate holes in your tree leaves early last spring (apples and other fruit, oaks, other deciduous trees), then mid-October is good timing to put up sticky tree bands to intercept the females before they lay eggs. The female moths can’t fly so when they emerge from their cocoons at the base of trees they have to walk up the trunk to lay eggs out on the branches. Spread insect glues (Tanglefoot, Tangletrap) available at garden centres on a foot-wide band around tree trunks. The band can be anything that is easy to wrap around the trunk: plastic food wrap, waterproof package tape, or other waterproof material that can be spread with glue. If the tree has deep crevices in the bark, wrap a layer of cotton batting around the tree first, pushing it into the cracks to block moths from crawling under the sticky band. Don’t put the glue directly on bark—it will damage young bark and will also keep on catching insects—mainly beneficial ones–during the growing season (and also kid’s hair, dog’s tails, shirt sleeves, etc. ). The moths lay eggs from late October to January so you can remove the tree bands in February.

And no, do not remove the insect netting or floating row covers from your carrots, yet. There are still plenty of carrot rust flies flitting around so wait until the end of October—unless it snows first (JUST kidding….)

Looking farther ahead: Unfortunately, there seems to be an increasing probability of a La Nina weather pattern (colder and wetter than ‘normal’, whatever that is….) again this winter, so give some thought to preparing for severe weather in case we see a repeat of last year:

  • collect lots of leaves to mulch the soil (and also collect lots to make compost and to stockpile for next summer’s mulching)
  • stake up tall and top-heavy overwintering plants, including Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower: use stakes, bamboo poles, tomato cages
  • pile plastic sheets or tarps ready to throw over beds of leafy greens in case of extreme cold; also have rocks, bricks or heavy boards handy to hold down the plastic in high winds

No Tags


Post an Event

Community News

  • Cloudiness in the Cedars of Tuam Water S...

    by on 6 hours ago

    CRD Integrated Water Services advises the customers of the Cedars of Tuam Water System on Salt Spring Island (refer to attached map) that turbidity has caused cloudiness in the treated drinking water. Operations staff is investigating the matter but it is believed the ground water source is being impacted by fine sand intrusion. This problem […]

  • Heat Alert! Sowing Winter Brassicas

    by on June 18, 2018

    The recent cool weather is giving way to what is forecast to be pretty hot weather starting this weekend. This is a reminder that if you haven’t done so already, do finish mulching vegetables before it gets hot; it will conserve soil moisture and keep roots cool. Some people had quite a bit of rain, […]

  • Calling for Creative Bus Shelter Designs...

    by on June 18, 2018

    Island Bus Shelters is a new group of community volunteers. In collaboration with the Salt Spring Island Transportation Commission (SSITC), we are inviting artists and designer/fabricator teams to submit proposals for creative bus shelters to recommend to the Capital Regional District. Project Philosophy – Salt Spring’s charm lies in its rural character and the absence […]

  • The 2nd Annual Art & Nature Fest is ...

    by on June 18, 2018

    Last year, a festival-goer called the Art & Nature Fest “an epic event with something for the whole family.” She then passionately stated that there should be an Art & Nature Fest every year! This year, the Salt Spring Island Conservancy will host its second annual Art & Nature Fest on Saturday, June 30, from […]

  • Free Boaters Shuttle to Salt Spring̵...

    by on June 13, 2018

    This unique FREE service offers the convenience of picking Boaters up at their marina and bringing them to Upper Ganges Village Shopping Centre, with Country Grocer the largest grocery store of the Gulf Islands; an amply provisioned Liquor Store, a Pharmasave and Uptown Pizza. After shopping the Shuttle will return you to your marina! All […]

  • Friday’s Forum: Inside BC Politics...

    by on June 13, 2018

    No-one was prepared for the closest election outcome in British Columbia history, on May 9, 2017. The BC Liberals had emerged with just two seats more than the BC NDP, leaving the decision—as to who would form the government—to three Green Party MLAs. What led to Christy Clark’s downfall, to the NDP forming government and […]

  • Hundreds Gather to Stand with the Salt S...

    by on June 13, 2018

    168 protestors who have been arrested for blocking the gate to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline project in Burnaby are facing possible criminal charges. Nine from Salt Spring Island are included. When arrested, they were charged with civil contempt. Now, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Affleck( who issued the initial injunction for Kinder Morgan’s property), has called […]

  • Salt Spring Island Foundation Spring Gra...

    by on June 13, 2018

    The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce over $206,000 in grants for local charities, including $97,000 targeted to youth recreation programs. These grants would not be possible without the support of our many generous donors, who share the Foundation’s vision of a healthy and caring community  Greenwoods Eldercare Society For a fall prevention […]

  • Island Pathways 30 Anniversary Celebrati...

    by on June 7, 2018

    You’re Invited! – 2018 June 24, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  at the Farmers’ Institute and on the Ganges Pathways Hard to believe Island Pathways has been going for 30 years. Here’s some of what we’ve accomplished: Our Partners Creating Pathways group has built nearly $1-million in Ganges Village pathways, complete with benches and map kiosks, costing local taxpayers […]

Pin It on Pinterest