FALL CHORES IN THE GARDEN...............CONTINUED.
We will continue our discussion of fall chores in the garden, again comparing what was said in a recent garden magazine article on the subject to what McArdle's recommends.
Do not compost diseased plant material.
The author said the that this would depend on whether the composting will be done in a proper fashion. If constructed properly, the internal temperature of the compost pile should reach about 150 degrees. This would kill any weed seeds and disease pathogens in the pile. But the average home compost pile does not reach these temperatures. So we all agree that to be safe this plant material should be thrown out.
Do not mulch until the ground is frozen.
The author disagrees with this principal and says mulch should be applied before the first frost, thus keeping the soil warm. We at McArdle's feel the purpose of fall mulching is to keep the soil consistently cold to prevent it being susceptible to thawing and freezing cycles. This in turn protects against heaving and premature growth, both of which can damage or kill a plant during a cold spell.
Please call or email me, or visit me at McArdle's for more information!