What are some of the last outdoor chores we need to do before everything is totally frozen?
• Clean chimney- important if you burn wood or pellets. You can either do this yourself by purchasing a sweep or hire it out.
• Put away hoses- or at the very least get them out of direct sun.
• Put insulating caps over your outdoor water spigots or, if you can, turn them off from inside.
• Put fuel preservative in your gas lawn mowers, place trash bag over the mowers engine.
• Clean gutters- use a blower to make the job less messy.
• Clear debris away from house to prevent mice entry
• Rake the last of the leaves
• Check around doors and windows for air leaks and then seal with caulk
• Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector now that it is heating season.
• Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. In winter, set it for a clockwise rotation. This pushes the warm air near your ceilings down into your living spaces. This is particularly important for homes with very high ceilings. Set to slow.
• If you’re not using your fireplace, check to be sure your damper is closed. Leaving it open is equivalent to leaving a window wide open.
Leaf blowers are a great help with autumn cleanup, and double as driveway sweepers or even snow blowers (when the snow is light and dry).
The average frost date for Cheyenne is September 20th. That means we can get a frost any day now. What can you do to get ready? Click for our handout: “Frost Action Plan.”
We are on the line of cold and dry and mild and dry.
Click here to see.
This is the time of year when we need to put away our garden tools and get out the snow shovels. Be sure and clean dirt and debris off your tools. Use a wire brush to remove any of the rust. It’s also great to sharpen the edges of your trowels and shovels with a file. Wooden handled tools can benefit from an application of oil. Linseed oil is the best, but you can also use cooking oil.
We are approaching the last mowings of the season (whew!). By doing a few things this fall you can keep your gas lawn mower working well next spring.
First, consider sharping the blades now to get that chore out of the way for next season. You can either do it yourself or take it in to a specialist. (more…)
This is the time of year when we hear crickets in our yards chirping rhythmically. They make this summer sound by rubbing their wings together. But this sound can also be a reliable predictor of temperature.
If shrubs are developing small roundish notches on the edges of the leaves, less than a 1/4 inch, it is likely caused by the black vine weevil. The young weevils feed on the roots and then develop into adult weevils that then feed on the leaves. They feed mostly at night. Adult weevils can be somewhat controlled by capturing them under boards adjacent to the plant and discarded daily. According to Colorado State University, adult feeding, as evidenced by leaf notching, can be controlled with sprays of certain pyrethroid insecticides such as bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, and lambda-cyhalothrin. These should be applied to the foliage and it can also be useful to treat areas at the base of plants, where they rest during the day. Control may be improved if applications are made late in the day or in evening, as the weevils become active and move onto the plants after dusk.
It is unheard of for plants to die from this pest so many people simple leave it be and put up with the more ragged leaf edges.
Hail is a fact of life on the High Plains. While it is heartbreaking to see your garden damaged, there are things that you can do both before and after hail to minimize damage and more quickly grow your garden back.