Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

September, 2001
Regional Report

Sow Turnips

Turnips are the signature fall crop in southern gardens. It can be eaten as greens, roots, or both. If you like tender young greens, sow only a small patch every two weeks. To grow big roots, thin plants early so that they stand at least 4 inches apart.

Check Sweet Potatoes

Although the vines may still are green, dig a few sweet potato plants and check the size of the roots. Some varieties such as 'Georgia Jet' will form huge football-sized lunkers if you leave them in the ground too long. Before eating cure all sweet potatoes in a very warm, dry place so they can sweeten up.

Overseed Fescue

Just before rain is expected, overseed thin spots in fescue lawns with seed of an improved variety such as 'Rebel II' or 'Falcon'. Before sprinkling seed, loosen the soil surface with a metal rake or hand cultivator to insure good contact between seed and soil.

Plant Daikons

For a spicy fall crop, sow a few daikon radishes in sunny, deeply cultivated soil. Some varieties can grow large, producing roots that weigh several pounds. Keep well watered and they will be ready to dig around Thanksgiving.

Sow Cilantro

This popular salsa herb quickly bolts when grown in spring, but fall sowings produce nothing but leaves until cold weather lulls them into semi-dormancy. With light winter protection, cilantro often survives until spring. For a terrific trio, sow seeds alongside curly parsley and flat Italian parsley.


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