Southern Coasts

August, 2004
Regional Report

Save Sunflower Seeds

Once the stately sunflowers have drooped their heavy heads, collect the seeds. Leave the plants in the garden or clip the flower stems and hang them to dry. Tie paper bags around the heads and let the seeds fall into them. Plant the seeds or feed the birds with the fresh seeds.

Prepare for New Sod

If you've just built a new home, or if the old lawn has big bare spots, now is the time to get the soil ready for new sod. Fall gives turf time to get rooted before next spring. Dig in organic matter, rake the area smooth, then order sod.

Treat Fire Ants

Fall's long and often dry days are perfect for fire ant reproduction. A combination of treating the mound and the yard does much to deter the spread of these obnoxious insects. First treat the entire area with bait, then treat each mound with a contact insecticide made for that purpose.

Fighting Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes pose an ever-present danger to adults and children, and fall is not the time to stop fighting them. Remove standing water sources; keep the repellent handy; and when they light, flick them off, don't slap. That's the safest way to keep their body parts off yours.

Tend Tired, Spent Perennials

Spring-blooming perennials need care and mulch now to get them ready for next year. Dig and divide crowded clumps, then repot or plant right away. Water in new plantings with root stimulator, but don't use other types of fertilizer. Cut back old stems, lift out offsets beside clumps, and add new mulch.

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