Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Upper South

September, 2000
Regional Report

Plant Christmas Rose

This is a good time to set out plants of the evergreen Christmas rose, Helleborus niger. Choose a site with partial shade and moist but well-drained soil. You might even be rewarded with a few of the white blooms in January or February the first year.

Rejuvenate Lily-of-the-Valley

Lily-of-the-valley plants will bloom more profusely if divided every three or four years. Now is a good time to divide them. Choose the strongest crowns, dig them up and divide them, replanting the young divisions 3 inches apart in each direction. Set the plants just below the soil surface.

Plant Trees and Shrubs

Deciduous trees and shrubs that bloom or start growing in early spring, such as redbud and forsythia, are best planted now. This gives them a chance to become well established before cold weather and puts less stress on them next spring. Dig a large hole and amend the soil with compost only if it's very poor. Mulch them and keep them well watered throughout the fall.

Continue Fall-Vegetable Planting

Sow seeds of fast-growing, cool-season vegetables such as radishes, mesclun, and spinach. Set out transplants of kale, collards, and broccoli. Cover the plants with frost-protecting row covers to keep the plants growing and producing longer - even after frosts begin.

Keep Weeding

It's time to start cleaning up the garden. Besides removing faded flowers and plants, it's important not to let weeds go to seed. Cut them down or pull them out, adding them to the compost pile if they don't have seed heads. Removing weeds before they go to seed reduces the amount of weed seeds in next year's garden, plus keeps the garden looking its best.


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