For the week of Sept. 20
Watering peach, apple trees
After the fruit is removed from peach and apple trees, start cutting back on the water. This allows the trees to start hardening off to prepare for winter. Avoid anything that may stimulate growth on fruit trees in the fall. This includes fall pruning, fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizer or applying excess water.
One frequent complaint is that chrysanthemums often bloom too early. Unless the buds are removed by the Fourth of July, the flower will appear during the heat of the summer and will be damaged or misshaped. They also do not tolerate the heat well. Mums that were properly debudded will start blooming now and bloom until frost.
If you like fall blooming mums to fill your landscape, plant them in the spring. They will offer a wonderful show by fall. Those that are planted now are usually small and spindly and will take another year to become attractive. Florist mums that are given as gift plants or used as Memorial Day decorations are not satisfactory for the garden. Unless they are treated with chemical growth regulators, they become tall and fall over in the garden.
Getting rid of powdery mildew
Last week's garden tips mentioned powdery mildew on edible crops. It also affects many other plants. As mentioned previously in Garden Tips, powdery mildew becomes a serious problem in the fall. Zinnias are particularly hard-hit by this disease. To prevent significant problems, plant resistant varieties or spray throughout the summer with a fungicide. Zinnia linara is a smaller, trailing type zinnia and is not affected by powdery mildew.