Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

September, 2009
Regional Report

Evaluate Your Southern Landscape In Late Summer

The long hot season has taken its toll on our landscapes. Now is a great time to take an early morning stroll to evaluate how our plants are holding up. Drought-prone turf areas may be better planted in water thrifty ornamental beds. Some perennials and shrubs may need relocating to a better spot or perhaps some soil improvements are in order.

Build Better Beds

A plant is only as strong and healthy as the soil allows. Mix plenty of coarse compost into your existing soil and build up a slightly raised planting area, especially in areas that tend to get a lot of rainfall in the fall and spring season. This will facilitate drainage during wet periods and provide an optimum environment for roots to thrive.

Fertilize Roses to Maintain Good Health

Roses expend a lot of energy blooming up a storm. Feed your plants with a moderate application of a complete fertilizer in early fall to support good health and vigor.

Plant Cole Crops

Begin planting cole crops such as broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, and collards. Water them in well with a dilute soluble fertilizer solution. Then keep them growing vigorously with regular feeding. Watch for looper caterpillars that will want to show up to spoil the show.

Prepare Soil for Wildflower Planting

Planning a mini wildflower meadow area for your landscape? Now is the time to get the spot ready for planting in late September or October. Wildflowers love sun and good drainage, with few exceptions. Lightly till the soil prior to planting. Mow turf and meadow areas very closely to help the seedlings receive maximum light and to minimize competition from existing weeds.

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