Happy Halloween!!!! Such a time that we know that fall is here and anticipating the next season. What I have been reading that the weather services are saying November will be above normal temperatures. Wouldn't that be nice!!! Make winter shorter if we have a long, warm fall. I found this article about migrating birds. I am afraid they are gone, but found it interesting where they go now. Enjoy!!!!
Migration time: It’s one of the most rewarding parts of watching birds. The way migratory birds show up right on time in spring and fall, with each species following its own schedule, is both enjoyable and reassuring. But even though the routes and timetables may seem predictable, some birds do change their flight patterns over the years or decades. Here are a few examples of bird migration patterns that have changed.
Change Is In The Air: Bird Migration Patterns
Rufous hummingbird The change: Angling eastward
Nesting in the Northwest, from Wyoming to southern Alaska, rufous hummingbirds have traditionally spent the winter in Mexico. A few had always wandered east in fall, but until recent decades, they would not have survived the winter there. Now, however, gardeners all over the Gulf Coast and beyond have established winter havens for hummingbirds, with flowers that bloom through the season and plenty of sugar-water feeders. From east Texas to Florida and north at least to the Carolinas, hundreds of rufous hummingbirds now spend the entire winter, and some individuals may come back to the same gardens year after year.
The bird: Canada goose The change: Putting down roots
Once, Canada geese were symbols of the wilderness. In most parts of the U.S., they were absent in summer. Their flocks would arrive from the north along with the cold winds of autumn, and they would leave to go back to Canada early in the spring. As recently as the 1950s, some people feared that Canada geese might disappear completely. Various state wildlife agencies began trying to establish new flocks by raising young geese in captivity and releasing them locally. But because geese learn migratory routes from their parents, these newly introduced flocks lacked the know-how to migrate, so they became permanent residents. Today they are found year-round in wild marshes, city parks and golf courses over much of the U.S. Meanwhile, flocks of wild geese still migrate from the Arctic to the central states and back again, overlapping in some seasons with their nonmigratory cousins.
The bird: Barn swallow The change: Pioneering a new continent
There are dozens of kinds of long-distance migrant birds from North America that fly to South America for the winter. But these migratory birds never stay to nest on the southern continent. Well, almost never. During the last few decades, barn swallows have broken all the rules. They had always been known as wintering birds all over South America. In 1980, observers were startled to find six pairs actually nesting and raising young near Buenos Aires, Argentina. It seemed like a fluke, but it was really the start of something big. Their numbers have increased ever since, and there are now thousands of pairs of barn swallows nesting in Argentina—a range extension of about 4,000 miles from anywhere they had nested before! More bird stories tomorrow....till later this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa Taken from Birds and Blooms.com
Taken from http://gardening.about.com/od/floweringbulbs/a/StoringBulbs
Storing Tender Bulbs for the Winter
Overwintering Tender Bulbs, Corms, Rhizomes and Tubers
By Marie Iannotti, Gardening Expert
While gardeners in zones 8 and above can grow tender bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers year round, northern gardeners will need to dig and store these plants to overwinter them. There are no absolute rules for overwintering the tender plants but in general:
1. Keep them dry and above freezing temperatures.
2. Don't store in air tight containers that could cause moisture build up and rot or fungus.
3. Check regularly for desiccation and mold.
4. Remember to label by type and color.
Below are more specifics for some commonly grown tender bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers.
• Alocasia (Elephant's Ear) Easiest to simply treat as potted houseplants. Feed lightly throughout winter and water often. If ground grown, lift and pot before frost. Alocasia tubers can also be cleaned and stored in peat moss, in a cool, dry spot. Plants tend to get larger as the tubers age. Repot in early spring.
• Anemone coronari (Windflower) Follow guidelines given for storing dahlias. Bulbs are often sold in the fall, but they are not hardy in Zones 5 and lower.
Tuberous Allow a frost to kill the tops, but do not allow the tubers to freeze. Lift and let tubers dry for one week, with about 5 inches of the foliage still in tact. Remove excess soil and foliage and store in peat moss or sawdust at 50 degrees F. Repot in early spring and keep warm, 68 - 75 degrees F. Move to a sunny spot when shoots appear. Keep evenly moist, but not wet. Plant outside after all danger of frost.
• Caladium Lift caladium plants before frost and allow them to dry in a warm spot. Cut back the foliage after it dies. Caldium bulbs don't like to be stored in cold temperatures. Keep at 50 - 60 degrees F. Pack loosely in peat moss. Repot up in early Spring, about 2 inches deep, knobby side up. Keep the soil moist and warm - 75 - 80 degres F. Move outdoors after all danger of frost.
• Canna Allow frost to kill the tops, but do not allow the rhizomes to freeze. Carefully lift the plants and cut off the dead tops . Hose off excess soil and allow to dry. Rhizomes can be wrapped in newspaper and stored in paper bags or cardboard boxes, at 45 to 50 degrees F. Very easy to overwinter. Cannas can be divided by hand. Break apart, insuring there are at least 3 eyes per division. Repot in early spring or plant directly in the garden once the temperatures remain above 70 degrees F. Keep well watered.
• Colocasia esculenta Taro Like Alocasia, Colocasia can be brought indoors as a houseplant or dug and overwintered as a tuber. Store the dried tubers in peat moss. Check the tubers monthly and cut away any soft spots that may develop. Allow the remaining healthy portion to dry before restoring in peat. Colocasia can be repotted about 8 weeks before the last expected spring frost. If dividing, be sure each tuber piece has a corm. Allow the tubers to dry a few days before replanting them.
• Crocosmia Follow the guidelines given for storing gladiolas, below.
• Dahlia Dahlias can be over-wintered in the ground with sufficient mulch, but it is risky. To store dahlias, they must be dug before a hard freeze, but their tops may be allowed to die back from a light frost. It's easiest to see the dahlia eyes, for division purposes, within a week after the tops are cut or killed back. These tubers don't like to get completely dried out. Overwinter in peat moss and check monthly for dehydration . Mist lightly, if necessary. Dahlia tubers are usually direct planted in the garden, once temperatures warm.
• Freesia Follow the guidelines given for storing gladiolas, below.
• Galtonia candicans (Summer hyacinth) Dig bulbs anytime in the fall. Overwinter in peat moss. Replant offsets directly in the ground, after all danger of frost.
• Gladiola Lift the plants in the fall either when the plants yellow or after the first frost. Cut the stems back to 1 inch and allow the corms to dry. Remove the old, shriveled portion, keeping only the new plump corms. These store easily in peat moss or sand. Plant directly in the ground beginning when the ground warms. Stagger plantings to extend the season of bloom.
• Gloriosa superba (Glory Lily) Store in peat moss. Check the tubers monthly cut away any soft spots that may develop. Allow the remaining healthy portion to dry before restoring in peat. In general, use the same guidelines as dahlias. You can repot Glory lilies after only 2 months of storage or hold until early spring.
Good luck with over wintering bulbs. If any questions, give me a call. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
This title HOME invasions got my attention. Hope you gain good information about creepy crawlers that come into our homes this time of year. Taken from Pandys Premier Garden Center
Home invasions soon to be on the rise! Creepy crawlers seek shelter as Halloween nears... As October continues and temperatures cool down, nuisance pests will seek shelter in your homes and garages. With cooler nights approaching, stink bugs and Asian ladybeetles will be sneaking into your home through cracks and crevices.
Stink bugs have 6 legs and look like a cross between a cockroach and a bug. Asian lady beetles are similar to lady bugs but have an orange body. Both are annoying intruders which enter our homes through any area they can squeeze into. The best defense against these pests are to seal cracks around windows, door jams, air vents and anywhere else with a good quality caulk.
Both pests are not hazardous to humans and do not bite. Stink bugs can have a foul odor when agitated and the beetles emit a terrible scent when squashed and they can stain walls and counters. Sprays like Bonide's "eight" can be sprayed on exteriors of homes as a preventative measure. IPandy's Premier Garden Center) also like Hi yields "Bug Blaster Bifenthrin 2.4" for a broad spectrum spray as well. The Bifenthrin seems to have a longer residual. For bugs inside the home, stink bug traps are available and should be placed near a light to draw bugs to them. After being trapped they will dehydrate for easy disposal. Household insect controls will work for Asian ladybeetles.
Ants seem to be attacking homes as well. I (Pandy Greenhouse) like to use Ortho's home defense in granular or concentrated ready-to-spray bottle forms. Simply sprinkle or spray around your foundation. Once this is done, a barrier is formed and ants stay away.
Spiders are seeking shelter as well or are in search of prey for food and can enter homes. Although unsettling to some, keep in mind, spiders are beneficial predators which help to keep pest populations down. Spiders do not bite unless you inadvertently sit on one or they are confronted with your hand or foot and initiate the fight instead of flight defense mechanism. Concerned citizens should wear gloves and long sleeved shirts as they go through boxes of stored items in attics and basements to avoid the possibility of a bite from a newly aquired spider home. Bonide offers a spider killer that works well as a curative and preventative spray which has a very long residual.
Yellow jackets are being reported on many pines this time of year. A closer examination reveals oyster shell scale is present. This scale forms an impenetrable shell which houses the insect. Its excrement of honey dew attracts bees in droves. Usually you will find a black sooty mold will form on branches as well. Eliminate the scale and the bees will go as well. The bad thing is, you must spray when the scale insect is in the "crawler" stage. This occurs in late May to early June. An application of horticultural oil at this time will eliminate this pest. As for bees that are present now....the only defense for them on the pines are to locate the nest and spray with a hornet and wasp killer.
Bedbugs seem to be another pest on the rise this season. These creatures can be� brought in on luggage, clothing, bedding and furniture. These small pests come out at night and are blood hungry. They pierce the skin and extract blood from their victims. These bugs date back to the 17th century. Populations of these pests were dramatically reduced prior to world war II thanks to widespread use of synthetic pesticides such as DDT. They are classified as a major pest now in the U.S. and seem to be multiplying. No pesticide is labeled for use on bedding or linens. Bedbug killers are available to spray on mattresses if you have an infestation.
Mice seem to be seeking new warm homes too this time of the year. Traps exist which still are a great curative solution but are kind of nasty to empty. Bonide has made a new repellent called "Mouse Magic" Made of natural ingredients, these packets last for weeks and are safe to use around children and pets. They can be used in campers, stored boats or cars, garages, cottages, storage sheds or anywhere you want to protect an area from mice. I have heard good responses from the use of this product.
I hope these tips give you an idea of what to do should you encounter any of these pests. My dad always taught me an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make sure you feed your lawn this weekend if you haven' t done so. I can not stress enough how important a fall feeding is for your lawn. It's also a great time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. Decorate your home for fall with mums, cornstalks and pumpkins. Enjoy these sunny days before they are gone. Who knows what this winter will bring!
Interesting article. Hope you found it helpful. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
Question has been asked about harvesting and storing pumpkins and winter squash. Here is what I found from John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds. If you have a look at their website some great recipes too.
Harvesting Pumpkins and Winter Squash
Ideally, Pumpkins and Winter Squash should be harvested when they are completely mature and have developed their full color and a hard rind. For Winter Squash, look for dulling of the skin, a yellow spot where the fruit sat on the ground, and a dry, corky stem. If there's a danger of heavy frost, or if mildew or other fungal diseases have attacked the foliage, harvesting a bit early is just fine. As long as Pumpkins and Winter Squash have started to turn color, they'll continue to ripen off of the vine.
Harvest on a dry, sunny day, wear gloves to protect your hands from prickly vines, and carry a sharp knife. Pumpkins should be cut from the vine to make sure that the handles stay attached to the fruit. If the handles break off, the fruit becomes vulnerable to decay. Sometimes Squash separates easily from the vine and sometimes not, so be prepared to cut the fruit from the stems rather than tear it away. Though these fruit seem indestructible, they need to be handled with care to avoid nicks that invite contamination.
All Important Time to Cure Pumpkins and Winter Squash should go from the garden directly into a dry, well-ventilated place where they can cure for 7 to 10 days. Curing helps to harden the skin, heal wounds and it gives any immature fruit time to ripen. During this curing period, ideal daytime temperatures are 80° to 85°F. Nighttime temperatures should not fall below 50°F.
Picking the Perfect Storage Spot When storing Pumpkins and Winter Squash, for the best results, start with fully mature, high quality, unblemished fruit that have been properly cured. An ideal storage environment is cool, dry, and well-ventilated, with a temperature that's between 55° and 60°F and a relative humidity of about 50%. Colder temperatures and higher humidity will speed decay. In relatively mild climates, an unheated garage or shed may be the a good place to store your Winter Squash and Pumpkins. In colder climates, they usually store well in a cool basement, attic or unheated bedroom.
Storage life is also determined by genetics. Some varieties store much better than others. For long-lasting Winter Squash, we recommend several heirloom varieties from Australia, including Australian Butter Squash, Triamble Squash and Jarrahdale Squash (which is said to store for up to a year!). Bugle and Honey Nut Mini Butternut Squashes typically store perfectly for four to five months. Naguri Kabocha-Type Asian Squash and Ebony Acorn Squash are next in line. Tivoli Spaghetti Squash and Zeppelin Delicata Squash have the shortest storage life and should be eaten up within six to eight weeks.
Under ideal conditions, Pumpkins have a storage life of two or three months. Our favorite keepers are New England Pie, Fairytale and Long Island Cheese Pumpkins. Even though Pumpkins are good keepers, whenever you get a free afternoon, it is nice to make your own Pumpkin Puree for the freezer. Once you have it, you can easily make a whole slew of wonderful Pumpkin dishes whenever the spirit moves you.)
Till next time this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
Dayflower is something I learned today the weed what it is called and how to take care of it. I have it around the greenhouse.
Weed Creeping Charlie
Weed Lamb's Quarter
I am continuing with identification of weeds. I know something we don't want to have in our gardens but afraid that we do. Gives you some ideas on how to control these plants.
Type: Broadleaf perennial Size: 4 inches tall, several feet wide Where it grows: Shady lawn, landscape, or garden areas Appearance: Groundcover with scalloped leaves and clusters of purple flowers in late spring. Control: Mulch garden areas in spring to prevent it; pull plants by hand or spray with a post-emergence herbicide in spring or fall.
Type: Broadleaf annual Size: To 4 feet tall and 18 inches wide Where it grows: Landscape and garden areas in sun or shade Appearance: Scalloped leaves have gray undersides. Control: Mulch to prevent it; pull plants by hand or use a post-emergence herbicide.
Type: Broadleaf perennial Size: To 8 inches tall and 12 inches wide Where it grows: Moist lawn and garden areas in sun or shade Appearance: Broad, flat leaves around a low rosette. Control: Mulch to prevent it in gardens; pull plants by hand or use a post-emergence herbicide in lawns. Note: Each plant can produce more than 15,000 seeds.
Type: Annual grass relative Size: To 30 inches tall and wide Where it grows: Sunny or shady landscape areas Appearance: Dark green leaves clasping a stem and brilliant blue flowers through summer. Control: Mulch to prevent it or use a pre-emergence herbicide in spring; pull plants by hand or spot-treat with a nonselective post-emergence herbicide. This one I have around the greenhouse and never knew what it was called. Now I do and what to do with it.
Type: Broadleaf annual Size: To 6 inches tall and 2 feet wide Where it grows: Dry, sunny landscape and garden areas Appearance: Groundcover with fleshy, dark green leaves and small yellow flowers at the ends of the stems. Control: Mulch to prevent it or use a pre-emergence herbicide in the spring; pull plants by hand or spot-treat with a nonselective post-emergence herbicide.
Till next time this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
Most Annoying Weeds and How to Get Rid of Them
Internet provider was phished with this website;, but they got it fixed. So back to posting on this website. Thanks for the numbers that still checked from Friday if I had posted something new. I am working on that now, so will finish it up and post this afternoon. Thanks for checking and till next time this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty,Iowa
Weed called dandelion
Weed called oxalis
Weed called quack grass
Weed called Bind plant
Weed called Nutsedge
So found this article about weeds....so thought you might like to read and see the pictures of them for identification in your garden. I know each of you now have weed free garden beds...so take the information as it is...information.
Type: Broadleaf perennial Size: 12 inches tall, 6 - 16 inches wide Where it grows: Lawns and gardens in sun or shade Appearance: This common lawn weed has a strong taproot; leaves are deeply notched. Yellow flowers mature to puffballs. Lawn Weed Control Tip: Mulch to prevent it in gardens; pull plants by hand or use a post-emergence herbicide in lawns.
Type: Broadleaf perennial Size: To 20 inches tall Where it grows: Sunny or shady landscape, lawn, or garden areas Appearance: Light green leaves that look like clover and cup-shape yellow flowers in summer and fall Grass Weed Control Tip: Mulch garden areas in spring to prevent it; pull plants by hand or spray with a post-emergence herbicide in spring or fall. Note: The leaves are edible in small quantities and have a sharp, sour taste. They can be harmful if eaten in large amounts.
Type: Grassy annual Size: To 18 inches tall and 20 inches wide Where it grows: Lawn, landscape, and garden areas in sun or shade Appearance: Grassy weeds; grows roots anywhere the stem makes soil contact; seed heads spread out like four fingers. Weed Control Tip: Mulch to prevent it or use a pre-emergence herbicide in lawns; pull plants by hand or spot-treat with a nonselective post-emergence herbicide. Note: Each plant can produce up to 150,000 seeds.
Type: Broadleaf perennial Size: Climbs 6 feet or more Where it grows: Landscape and garden areas in sun Idnetify Weeds: Arrowhead-shape leaves on twining vines; bears white to pale pink morning glory-type flowers. Control: Mulch to prevent; repeatedly chop down growing plants and/or treat with post-emergence herbicide. Note: Wandering roots produce offspring 20 - 30 feet from the mother vine.
Type: Grassy perennial Size: 2 feet tall, 1 foot wide Where it grows: Lawn, landscape, or garden areas with moist soil in sun or shade Appearance: Shiny, grassy leaves; nutlike tubers on the root system. Control: Mulch garden areas in spring to prevent it; pull plants by hand or spray with a post-emergence herbicide containing MSMA.
More next time about weed identification. Here is where I have learned alot. I have these plants and weeds, now I know a name for them.
Till next time this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
Most Annoying Weeds and How to Get Rid of Them
The second house plants that turned out well being outside this summer is the Wandering Jew. SO I am going to cut these back and make cuttings for more house plants to give away as gifts. I will show you pictures when I do the planting of the cuttings. This is helping with getting ready for winter when I can still grow something. What does that say about my gardening? LOVE to grow plants and not doing the cleaning up that I am doing now.
How to Take Cuttings From a Wandering Jew
With its erratic growth habit and purplish-green foliage, wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina) makes an excellent houseplant, especially in a hanging basket. It is also a suitable garden plant in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11, where it commonly grows as a trailing ground cover. To propagate a wandering Jew, simply take a cutting and root it, which typically takes approximately three to four weeks.
Select a wandering Jew plant that is free from insects and disease to take your cutting. It should appear to be healthy with a full, lush growth. Do not take cuttings from unhealthy plants. Water the wandering Jew the day before you take the cutting so it is well hydrated. Water a garden plant with 1 inch of water. For a container wandering Jew, water slowly until water seeps out the drainage holes. Sterilize a knife or scissors with rubbing alcohol or a bleach-water solution made with 10 percent bleach. Moisten a paper towel or clean rag with the alcohol or bleach water and carefully rub the blades. You can also use a sanitizing wipe that contains bleach.
Choose a healthy tip with new growth. Cut just below a leaf node, slicing it with a knife or cutting it with a pair of scissors at a 45-degree angle. The cutting should be at least 4 inches long. Take several cuttings to ensure success.
You can root a wandering Jew cutting in soil, but it is also easy to root in water. Simply remove the leaves from the bottom 2 inches of the stem and place it in a clear jar or glass filled with room temperature water. Set in a sunny location and change the water as necessary, to keep it clear, until roots form.
I have found this article on the care of wandering Jews, and it looks like with the plants I have they have lots of vining tendrils. SO I will try lots of cutting from these. I also have to repot them because they are root ball with very little dirt.
Gardening Know How - http://www.gardeningknowhow.com
Growing Wandering Jew Plants – How To Grow Wandering Jew Plants
By Jackie Rhoades
Years ago, before raising plants for profit became a business, every housewife knew how to grow wandering Jew houseplants. Gardeners would share cuttings from their wandering Jew houseplant (Tradescantia pallid) with neighbors and friends, and like the Jews from long ago, the wandering Jew houseplant would travel from place to place.
Basic Wandering Jew Plant Care
Wandering Jew plant care requires bright, indirect light. If the light is too dim, the leaf markings will fade. Keep the soil slightly moist, but don’t water directly into the crown as this will cause an unsightly rot  in your wandering jew plant. Care should be taken, particularly in winter, that the plant doesn’t become too dry. Mist wandering jew plants frequently. Feed your plant monthly with a half-strength liquid fertilizer.
An important part of growing wandering Jew plants is pinching back the long, vining tendrils. Pinch back  about a fourth of the plant to encourage branching and increase fullness.
One of the main reasons for asking, “How do I care for my wandering Jew?’ is the short life of the plant. Wandering Jew houseplants do not age well. No matter how well your wandering Jew plant care is, they lose their leaves at the base while the long legs keep growing. Don’t be surprised if your wandering Jew plants need to be renewed once a year or so.
Till next time this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
I had many looking at the blog yesterday thanks for that. So here goes today's.
When Should I Be Watering Trees in Fall?
Answering the Questions of Why, When, Where, and How Much?
"When should I be watering trees in fall? And how much water do I need to give them?" This is an astute question, because it is not a matter of whether you should irrigate trees in autumn or not. It is more complicated than that. We need to pinpoint the right time within the fall season to water. So now let us look, in detail, into when to do it -- and when not to do it.
When to Water Trees in Fall
1. Stop watering trees, both evergreen and deciduous, throughout early autumn, until the time when the leaves of the deciduous trees fall (this remarkable change on the deciduous trees serves as a useful indicator, whereas their evergreen counterparts, being relatively unchanging, offer little in the way of guidance). This stoppage in watering will allow both evergreen and deciduous trees to enter a transitional phase, not unlike the "hardening off" undergone by nursery plants in spring. What you are trying to avoid here is causing spurts of new growth that will not be winter-hardy. Such non-hardy growth is more likely to be damaged if cold weather suddenly sweeps into your region.
Stop watering trees, both evergreen and deciduous, throughout early autumn, after the deciduous trees have dropped their leaves, give both evergreen and deciduous trees a deep watering. This should be done before the ground freezes. If you were to wait until after the ground freezes, the frozen-solid soil would act as a barrier. This barrier would prevent water from seeping down properly to the root zones of the trees in a timely manner.
Examples of Deciduous and Evergreen Trees
For the sake of beginners, I will mention examples of deciduous versus evergreen trees here. If you are at a more advanced level and wish to skip on to information about exactly how much water to give your trees in fall, scroll down to the next section.
The following are examples of deciduous trees:
5. Ginkgo (see picture)
6. Japanese maple
7. Red maple
Evergreen trees fall into two different categories:
1. Those that have needle-like leaves, awl-shaped leaves, or flattened sprays of scale-like leaves
2. Those with leaves shaped more like those on a "regular" (that is, deciduous) tree.
For purposes of watering trees in fall, these two types of evergreen trees can be treated the same way. In the North, there are far more examples of the first group. Perhaps the representative of the second group that will be most recognizable for the average landscaping enthusiast in North America is American holly. Examples of the first group include:
1. Colorado blue spruce
2. Canadian hemlock
3. Dwarf Alberta spruce
4. Eastern white pine
5. Emerald Green arborvitae
6. Hinoki cypress
7. Leyland cypress
But How Much Water Do I Give My Trees, and Where?
You now know not only why, but also when to water trees in fall. But, in a sense, that is the easy part. The question of how much to water trees is harder, because it involves a measurement. Note also that there is more than one way to measure the correct amount of water to supply. Some people prefer to measure in terms of the number of gallons of water required. But I am going to give you a different guideline to go by, because it will also serve as a teaching tool for exactly where to water your trees.
You should be watering your trees around what arborists call the "dripline." What is this dripline? Stand under your tree and look up into its canopy. Move so as to position yourself directly under the outer edges of that canopy. You are now standing on a portion of the circle that makes up the dripline.
Most of the water your tree's roots are going to draw out of the ground will be drawn from this area and from the area just outside it (further away from the tree). In other words, people who water a tree right up near its trunk are betraying a fundamental misunderstanding of how tree roots take up water. The smaller, so-called "feeder" roots are the ones that will draw up most of the water from the soil, and these feeder roots tend to emanate out from the dripline.
So much for the "where?" But how much water should you apply to this dripline area in fall (or any time of year, really)? The all-important feeder roots reside mainly in the uppermost 1 foot of the soil. So your goal in watering a tree is to moisten the top 1 foot of soil in the dripline area. Note that you want the soil to end up moist, not soggy (yes, there is such a thing as over-watering a tree). This depth-of-1-foot guideline is more useful than speaking in terms of gallons, because the number of gallons required will depend on factors such as how well your soil retains water.
But you may wonder, "How can I tell if I have managed to moisten the soil down to a depth of 1 foot?" Well, there are products specifically designed to help you make such determinations. For example, you can buy a soil probe on Amazon. This product consists primarily of a metal rod. The idea behind it is that, after watering your tree, you push the rod down into the soil as far as you can. Wet soil is easier to penetrate than dry soil, so the rod should slip pretty easily down through whatever soil has been watered sufficiently. If you can push the rod down 1 foot deep but then meet resistance (signifying dry soil), you have probably achieved your goal of watering the tree to the correct depth. Water that percolates down lower than that will go unused and is therefore wasted. WOW that is lots of good information. Hope it helps to keep your trees over the winter.
Taken from http://landscaping.about.com/cs/landscapecolor/f/protect_trees.
Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa
Hi! My name is Becky and I am a Master Gardener. I own Becky's Greenhouse in Dougherty, Iowa.