Mid-Atlantic

September, 2003
Regional Report

Plant a Taste of Fall

If you missed putting in a fall vegetable garden, there's still time to seed a bit of lettuce in a big container to enjoy later this fall. You also could transplant some herbs into containers now so they are settled in and ready to move inside before frost.

Take Cuttings

If you want to try to overwinter some of your favorite patio tropicals, such as the tender specialty salvias, coleus, or geraniums, this is the time to take tip cuttings and root them. Use a clean pot and fresh potting mix. Keep soil slightly moist and place pots in a bright location out of direct sun until rooted.

Plan for Leaf Mold

Fall leaves will be coming down soon, so think about where you might be able to stockpile and compost them into what is sometimes called leaf mold. You do not have to use a formal composter or bin system. A simple cylinder made of wire mesh works fine to cage them and keep them from blowing away.

Add Color

If your garden lacks color now, consider adding some easy-to-grow, late-blooming perennials, such as the many varieties of sedums and asters, hardy begonias, toad lilies, Japanese anemones, boltonia, and of course, mums. Late-planted perennials should be carefully mulched and the soil kept moist until the ground freezes.

Cleaning Up

Continue to pick produce as it ripens in the vegetable garden. Spoiled fruit and vegetable waste left in the garden is an invitation to pests and diseases. Share or compost your excess. Remove any diseased plants promptly and dispose of them in the trash. Pull up spent but otherwise healthy plants and put them in the compost.

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