Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

October, 2009
Regional Report

Plant Pansies

If you haven't already planted pansies, do so now, so they have time to become well-rooted before soil temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These flowers are heavy feeders, so add organic matter and all-purpose fertilizer to the planting bed. Remove flowers and buds to direct energy towards root growth, and gently tease apart roots so they spread into the surrounding soil.

Lift Tender Bulbs

Caladium, tuberous begonia, and other tender bulbs should be lifted this month for storage. Allow bulbs to air-dry for several days and remove foliage before packing in peat moss and placing in a cool location out of direct sunlight. Other bulbs, such as dahlias and cannas, usually survive Middle South winters, but you can also dig and store them as precaution against the possibility of extremely wet or cold weather.

Enjoy Last Roses

With a final feeding in September, take time to enjoy the last of the season's roses. Continue watering but do not fertilize again. Stop removing faded blooms by the end of the month, so seed pods (hips) form, helping to trigger winter dormancy.

Plant Cool-Season Herbs

Warm-season herbs have lost their best flavor by now, but seeds of chives and parsley can be direct-sown in the garden to grow during fall and winter months. You can also continue to plant onion sets and garlic cloves.

Monitor Newly-Planted Trees and Shrubs

Keep an eye on woody plants that have been recently planted or transplanted. Check moisture when rain is lacking and make sure all trees and shrubs are well-hydrated prior to windy spells or extremely cold weather.


Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "Salvia regla 'Royal'"