Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Upper South

August, 2000
Regional Report

Fertilize Container Plants

Frequent watering and rains wash nutrients out of the soil, so fertilize container plantings of flowers and vegetables with a liquid plant food, at least every other week. A consistent dose of fertilizer in summer will keep containers bountiful right up to frost this fall.

Dividing Daylilies

If your daylilies had lots of foliage but few flowers this year, they need dividing. This can be started in late July or early August, but it's still not too late to divide. Dig up the entire clump and use a sharp knife or spade to separate the roots into pieces with several fans of leaves each. Replant each clump, spacing them 18 to 24 inches apart.

Cutting Gladiolas

When cutting gladiolas for bouquets, leave two or three leaves on the plant to help the bulbs mature and develop flowers for next year. If you have flower spikes just developing, feed the bulbs with a sprinkling of a fertilizer such as 5-10-5. Dig up the bulbs as the foliage yellows and store them over winter in a cool, dark basement.

Plant Cover Crops

Enrich empty areas of the vegetable garden by sowing seeds of annual rye, crimson clover, or vetch cover crops now. These crops will start growing before cold weather sets in, and they'll overwinter. A month before planting next spring, till or dig them into the soil, adding nutrients and tilth to your garden.

Prevent Melon Rotting

If your cantaloupes and watermelons tend to rot before they're ready for harvest, try placing a thin board under each one, placing the developing melon on a can, or suspending the fruit in the air with nylon pantyhose. Keeping the melons off the ground will help prevent rotting and make harvesting easier.


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