Keep watering vegetation in fall

By Todd Vineyard | Published Wednesday, September 12, 2018

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Even though we have received some recent rainfall in the area, we have experienced extreme drought for most of this summer. It is very important to continue watering through the fall and winter months.

Water trees, shrubs, lawns and perennials during prolonged dry fall and winter periods to prevent root damage that affects the health of the entire plant.

The result of long, dry periods during fall and winter is injury or death to parts of plant root systems. Affected plants may appear perfectly normal and resume growth in the spring using stored food energy.

Plants may be weakened and all or parts may die in late spring or summer when temperatures rise. Weakened plants also may be subject to insect and disease problems.

Fall is also the time fruit tree care is forgotten or neglected. It’s a critical time for controlling some of the peach and plum tree diseases.

Applying a copper fungicide can stop or at least reduce three of the major diseases that attack peach and plum trees in Wise County – peach leaf curl, bacterial leaf spot and bacterial canker.

Timing of the fall spray is critical for effective control and avoiding tree damage. Unless applied correctly, copper may cause severe defoliation. Spraying should be done when 70 percent of the leaves have fallen.

Another problem many homeowners are experiencing this fall is in St. Augustine grass. Brown patch is a chronic lawn problem. This fungal disease is characterized by large, circular, brown patches of grass. Fungicides can be helpful. Granular fungicides are easier to apply than liquid. Inspect your lawn, if the blades pull away easily from the stem and have a gray, rotted appearance. That is a symptom of the disease.

Todd Vineyard is a Wise County Extension agent.

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