April 12- May 3
Soils & Composting Class (H-777)
The Morton Arboretum advises that, there are several landscape diseases that are affecting our trees and plants that we must treat right now, before the leaves come out. After they leaf out, it is too late to guard against these particular diseases. Here are three:
In each case, the solution is:
1. Good garden clean-up is essential. Prune off any diseased sections. Gather up any leaves, twigs or branches beneath infected trees, and do NOT compost them, but discard them.
2. If your tree is small enough, you can apply a fungicide that you can buy at any garden center. Apply three times: first, as the buds open. Next, 2-3 weeks later, and finally when the leaf is fully exposed. However, if you have a large tree, contact a certified arborist for treatments.
3. Also, sterilize your garden rakes and other implements that may have been infected with disease.
To create a compost
1. Combine two parts of "brown" materials (e.g. non-diseased leaves and twigs, etc) with one part of "green" materials (e.g. scraps from the kitchen ? but nothing fatty, such as steak remnants, that would attract animals or create odor.
2. Four to six months later, expect the mixture to have broken down into rich, organic compost. Apply to trees or shrubs as top-dressing, or when planting, use as a soil amendment.
For more about composting and keeping plants healthy
The Morton Arboretum Education Program offers "All About Soils and Composting" (class H-777) starting April 12. Register via Education at www.mortonarb.org or call 630-719-2468.