Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

October, 2005
Regional Report

Plant Perennial Herbs

Fall is a great time to set out perennial herbs in our southern gardens. Thyme, oregano, rosemary, pineapple sage, parsley, lemon balm, and Mexican mint marigold are among the herbs best suited to fall planting in the south. Always work a few inches of compost into the soil prior to planting.

Keep New Trees and Shrubs Moist

Newly planted shrubs and trees can dry out in the warm sunny days of fall. Their roots are still very confined and depend on a regular soaking to stay moist and healthy. Keep roots moist but not soggy to help them become well established by spring.

Plant Strawberries

Fall-planted strawberries have a head-start on spring. Get them in soon to allow them time to grow and set fruit buds for a bumper crop in March and April. They detest wet feet so work some compost into the soil and build raised beds for optimum drainage.

Feed Cool-Season Veggies and Flowers

Cool-season vegetables and flowering bedding plants need good nutrition to keep blooming and producing. These plants perform best with a light fertilizing every four to six weeks. Use a complete plant food with a 3-1-2 or similar ratio of nutrients.

Dig and Store Caladium Tubers For Next Spring

If you wish to save caladium tubers for another year, dig them now and allow them to dry for a week or so in a well-ventilated but shaded area. Remove dried leaves and carefully brush off soil. Store in a cool area where the temperature will not go below about 55 degrees F.


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