With the cooler weather, gardening tasks may be slowing down some, but there are still plenty of things to do in the garden and landscape in the fall and winter months. Here are a few things to think about as you head into the next planting season. Follow the list to reduce future pest problems and have healthier plants.
- Pull out annual plants that have reached the end of their growing season, such as tomatoes, squashes, and peppers.
- Remove and clean up old fruit and nuts in and under trees to avoid harboring pests and diseases.
- Remove fallen leaves from beneath deciduous fruit trees and roses.
- After cleaning up, add...
Campers and hikers are often warned to avoid poison oak in summer by looking out for green plants with glossy leaflets of three. However, as weather cools, the appearance of the plant changes, making it more difficult to identify.
In fall, poison oak leaves turn attractive shades of orange and red, which then drop off in winter. The bare branches still contain allergens capable of causing a rash in sensitive individuals who brush up against it. In some cases, people may unknowingly use the plant's branches for firewood or to roast marshmallows, exposing themselves to the poisonous oils via smoke particle inhalation.
Next time you plan a trip outdoors, make sure to read the