Many families tend to “give up” the vegetable garden once school starts, yet you do not have to. Vegetables can still be productive for a couple more months, depending on what you have been growing.

So many good things have happened in the home landscape this year so far. The earlier cool and drier weather let our perennials and shrubs put on the growth that has not happened in our hot dry springs. Along with that has been the way better than average bloom show. There has been a lot to enjoy when out on the patio or deck and even when working the beds, getting to see the detail of fresh foliage, flower buds and bloom

close up of green poison ivy leaves

Experienced gardeners know where poison ivy is likely to be found in the home landscape, and what it looks like in its various forms and stages of growth. That may not be the case for newer gardeners or those having moved from an area relatively free from poison ivy to a wooded area or neighborhood. Without knowing it is in the yard, it is all too easy to get the oils on your hands and clothing while clearing beds of otherwise harmless weeds.

Regular rains (or watering) is almost always a good thing for our landscape and gardens. However, every time it rains (or we water) we can get weeds. If you ignore those weeds, let them flower and set seed, the landscape can begin to look like a jungle. For every square foot of soil there are many thousands of weed seeds in the top inch, and they are just waiting to germinate with sunshine and water.

We can always count on spring, but we cannot count on how our plants will come through the winter weather. Emails and phone calls coming into our offices are revealing some trends on how our landscape plants faired.

compost bin open with contents showing

We have had some good weather to begin our fall cleanup efforts in the home landscape, and other days, it has been too cold and rainy to get out in the yard as we would have wanted. Those days have allowed us to see what else will need to be done before the “snow flies.” Master Gardeners continue to field calls remotely and a common one has been the abundance of weeds found as yard cleanup is progressing.

crabgrass in lawn

Now is the time to prevent crabgrass so you will not have to see it in the lawn later. Crabgrass like other “weeds” in the landscape is an opportunist. Crabgrass will take advantage of places in the lawn that are thin or have been damaged from the winter, such as the road salt on your parkway.