Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Upper South

September, 2010
Regional Report

Clean Up and Restart

Remove and compost or dispose of over-the-hill vegetable plants. You can either call it quits for the year and put on a layer of organic mulch or you can grow some cool-season crops. At this point on the calendar, it's best to choose fast-growing ones like lettuce, radishes, spinach, cilantro or some of those wonderful Asian turnips that are picked when small and luscious. Another possibility is to wait until October and plant garlic and shallots, for harvesting next summer.

Beat the Rush

Get started on improving your garden soil now, not next spring when you're trying to get everything planted. Start by sending a sample of your soil to a quality soil laboratory. Don't know of one? Check the Yellow Pages, online, or your local county Cooperative Extension Service. Take at least 10 samples at a depth of 6 inches from various locations throughout your garden. Besides the nutrient levels, you'll also learn the pH. Most flowers and vegetables grow best with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0.

Tuck In Some Color

Nurseries and garden centers now have a wonderful assortment of chrysanthemums, aster, sedums, and ornamental kale and cabbages for sale. Use these to create a dramatic display near the entrance to your home, around a mailbox or lamp post, or add them throughout your flower beds to fill in garden gaps. Be sure to add a variety of gourds and pumpkins to an entrance display or in window boxes. The fall garden is just as exciting as spring and summer ones.

Make More Daylilies

If your daylilies have become overcrowded and are not blooming as much as they used to, then divide them now to get them back to their glorious best. Use a spading fork to dig the clump and divide it into sections. Depending on the variety, you can use two spading forks back-to-back to pry the roots apart or a small garden saw to cut them apart. You can choose how large or small you want the divisions to be, but it is usually best to keep at least three or four foliage fans in each. Immediately replant in well-prepared garden soil and water well.

Start An Indoor Herb Garden

Although herbs aren't the easiest of plants to grow indoors, it's fun to give it a try. If you've been growing them in pots outdoors this summer, then just plan on bringing them inside. Or you can buy young plants at garden centers or start them from seed yourself. Try some of the smaller-growing basils, like Greek, Marseilles, or Boxwood. Basil cuttings also easily root in water. Be sure to soak Italian parsley seed before planting to hasten germination.


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