Nursery Notes: Changing leaves a sign of fall in Creston Valley

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Evan Davies owns Beltane Nursery at 2915 Highway 3 in Erickson.

Evan Davies owns Beltane Nursery at 2915 Highway 3 in Erickson.

The leaves on the maple trees are starting to turn shades of red, orange and yellow. These days I am on the road weekends selling my apple harvest out of town. I am always happy to come back to such a spectacular valley at the end of a sales trip. I notice how much closer to winter the other folks are and how much warmer the weather is here.

The leaves in my peach block are colouring, as well as the maples. As soon as they fall off the trees I will spray the exposed branches with a copper spray. It as a protective coating that sticks to the wood pretty well, one of the oldest pesticides known to man. If we have a really wet fall, I will reapply around Christmas. This is to prevent peach leaf curl on the trees next spring. It’s a nasty disease and one that needs to be looked after ahead of time as there is no real cure for it once it is there.

The two-week weather forecast looks great: a couple of days with a 60 per cent chance of rain, and the rest is sunshine. Next week’s nighttime temperatures will be getting quite cool. If you can water in all your trees and shrubs for the fall and winter, they will appreciate it. Excessive summertime drought has surely stressed many of them out. I’ve noticed some well established trees and shrubs practically dead from this summer’s drought. A major indicator of this would be premature fall colour and leaf drop in late summer. Rehydrating their cells now will give them their best chance at reducing winter damage and looking good next spring. Why not protect your investment?

Now is a good time to reseed your lawn. If rain fails to materialize this weekend, you can always set up a sprinkler to help germinate the lawn seed.

I like planting this time of year too (in between harvesting my apple orchard). The days are cooler but the ground is at its warmest time of year. Plants are naturally sending their energy into the earth, growing roots. One can water them in well and then check the plants for moisture once in a while instead of constantly, as through the heat of summer.

I’ll try to have the nursery open in the afternoons on weekdays. In any case, this is great time of year to get out and enjoy what the valley has to offer. Have a great autumn!

Evan Davies owns Beltane Nursery at 2915 Highway 3 in Erickson.