Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

September, 2007
Regional Report

Plant Cool-Season Flowers

Plant snapdragons, stocks, calendula, cyclamens, and primulas. The cool, rainy days of fall provide excellent conditions for these flowers to establish and grow rapidly for a beautiful fall and winter show. Add some compost to the soil prior to planting and make raised beds to insure good drainage. While snapdragons, stocks, and calendulas prefer full sunlight, cyclamen and primulas do well in a bright shade location.

Fertilize Citrus

Keep satsuma oranges, kumquats, and various other container-grown citrus plants healthy by fertilizing with a light dose of soluble liquid plant food on a frequent basis. Many types are ripening their fruit now and need a little extra nutrition. Just don't overdo it or fruit quality and winter hardiness will be decreased.

Plant Cool-Season Vegetables

September is the season for planting cole crops in the vegetable garden. These include broccoli, cauliflower, collards, cabbage, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, and kale. We can also begin to plant beets, Chinese cabbage, collards, mustard, carrots, chard, garlic, peas, radishes, and turnips.

Control Perennial Weeds Now

Fall is a good time to control those difficult-to-eradicate perennial weeds like nutsedge, wild blackberry, poison ivy, and bermudagrass. Options include hand digging (watch out for the poison ivy!) or sprays of an herbicide such as glyphosate. Weeds are storing sugars for winter and are more susceptible to these control efforts now than they would be in spring.

Protect Rose Foliage

Roses are gearing up for their big fall show. Leaf diseases such as powdery mildew and black spot can seriously weaken plants if left unchecked. Protect their foliage from diseases and pests to insure good carbohydrate production, which promotes good bloom and good plant health going into the winter season.

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