Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

October, 2010
Regional Report

Fall Vegetable Planting Time

The fall season is well under way in the southern garden. Plant beets, Chinese cabbage, collards, mustard, carrots, chard, kohlrabi, garlic, kale broccoli, cauliflower, garden peas, radish and turnips this month in the vegetable garden.

Fertilize Southern Turfgrasses

Apply 1/2 to 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet to St. Augustine, Zoysia, Centipede and Bermudagrass lawns in early to mid-October. To determine how much it takes to make a pound of nitrogen, take the first number on the fertilizer bag and divide it into 100 to get the pounds of your fertilizer to apply.

Plant Cool Season Flowers

Plant snapdragons, stock, calendula, cyclamen and primula. 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 build up raised beds to insure good drainage. While snapdragons, stock and calendulas prefer full sunlight, cyclamen and primula do well in a bright shade location.

Topdress Turf Plagued by Take-All Patch

A fall application of sphagnum peat over St. Augustine lawns plagued by Take All Patch can help fight the disease without spraying fungicides. Apply the peat at a rate of 1 bale per 1,000 square feet. After application water the area well. Make this application in early to mid fall for best results.

Prevent Pest Damage to Cool Season Vegetables

Cool season greens are a favorite target of caterpillars, beetles and aphids. Spread a lightweight rowcover fabric over the row after planting, leaving extra slack in the cover to allow for plants to grow. Secure the edges with boards or soil and the plants will grow virtually pest free right up until harvest. Caterpillars can also be controlled with sprays of the natural pesticide B.t.


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