Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

August, 2001
Regional Report

Clean Gardens For Fall

Pull up weeds and spent plants to make room for fall vegetables. Cultivate the soil, rake it clean, and leave it open for 1 to 2 weeks to give birds a chance to pluck insects. Before planting, shape soil into beds or rows and mulch areas to be planted with cabbage family crops.

Prune Tomatoes

Prune back your tired tomato plants by 1/2 their size to force out new bearing branches. After pruning, fertilize to help rejuvenate them. This works best on indeterminate tomato varieties such as 'Better Boy' and with vigorous determinate varieties such as 'Early Girl' and 'Celebrity'. You'll get a light crop of new fruits in early October.

Sow Biennials

Indoors, start seeds of biennial flowers such as foxglove, hollyhock, Siberian wallflower, and lunaria, also known as money plant. When set out in mid autumn, these short-lived perennials and biennials will bloom the following spring. If the weather is kind to them, they will continue to grow for another few years before dying off.

Start Asian Green Seeds

There are many great greens to grow in your fall garden. Start seeds soon of turnip greens and Asian greens such as tatsoi and mizuna. When sown from seed in early September, these and other Asian greens reach their peak just as nights get cool enough in October to sweeten them up.

Shear Hedges

It\'s time to give hedge plants including boxwood, holly, and yew their last trim of the season. Shear only enough to refine their shape. New growth will continue to develop, but will have plenty of time to harden off before cold weather arrives.


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