Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

September, 2000
Regional Report

Sow Spinach

Spinach is a heavy feeder, so plant it in rich, fertile beds with good water drainage. Plantings made now will produce light harvests in November. They'll go dormant through winter and then explode with new growth in March. Cold weather boosts sugar production in spinach leaves, so pickings from overwintered plants are phenomenally sweet and crisp.

Fertilize Fescue Lawns

With the cooler weather of fall, bring your fescue lawn back to life with the application of a high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer. To ensure a steady supply of nutrients, use either an organic fertilizer or a controlled-release product in which some of the granules are coated. Using a fertilizer spreader ensures even coverage.

Cover Poinsettias

Bring poinsettias indoors, where temperatures range between 60F and 70F, and start covering them with a box from 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. each day. Complete darkness for at least 13 hours daily is the magic trigger that makes the plants develop flowers and colorful bracts. Bring the plants out into bright light each day and cover them each night. Within a few months you\'ll see color change, and you can stop this routine.

Transplant Foxgloves

These showy flowers grow great in partial shade. Foxglove transplants thrive when set out now for bloom late next spring. Plant them in small groups in well-drained spots that get a few hours of sun. Once they are large enough, move them to their permanent location. When grown near entryways, foxgloves always steal the show.

Propagate Perennials

One of the joys of gardening in our region is that we don\'t have to wait until spring to rejuvenate shasta daisies, bee balm, dianthus, daylilies, coreopsis, and other vigorous perennials. Dig, divide, and transplant these perennials to your heart\'s content while you wait for bulb planting season to begin. Always prepare the new soil with compost and keep the new divisions well watered.


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