Middle South

August, 2004
Regional Report

Prepare for Fall Planting

Dig and amend a bed for your fall salad garden, which might include lettuce, arugula, spinach, and endive. Sow some seeds right away, and follow up with a second planting in early September.

Adopt Mums

As soon as chrysanthemums appear at your local garden center, snap some up and use them to fill holes in your flower garden. Check plant tags for bloom season. Mums that bloom late will keep growing a bit before covering themselves with flowers later in the fall.

Set Out Strawberries

If your lawn is bigger than it needs to be, why not devote a sunny edge to strawberries? They will perennialize with little care, and produce plenty of juicy berries in early summer. For best production, choose varieties that bear all at once. In small spaces use strawberries to fill half barrels or other large containers.

Prune Shrubs

Hollies, boxwoods, and other shrubs that have lost their shape are ready for a last pruning. When hedges are trimmed now, new growth will have just enough time to cover the cut stubs and then harden off before cold weather comes.

Revive Tired Annuals

Trim leggy stems from impatiens, petunias, geraniums, and other energetic bloomers, and then follow up with a deep drench with a water-soluble plant food. New buds and blossoms will appear in a few weeks, staging a beautiful encore performance.

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