Middle South

September, 2004
Regional Report

Propagate Geraniums

Take cuttings of your favorite annual geraniums (technically, these are non-hardy Pelargoniums, as opposed to the hardy, true geraniums) and root them. Grow these cuttings on a sunny windowsill over the winter, and you\'ll have your own supply for outdoor plantings next spring.

Plan for Fall Bulbs

Although it's too early to plant bulbs, it's not too early to start planning and placing orders. Survey your gardens and decide where you'd like a drift of cheery tulips. Choose a spot in the lawn for some early-flowering crocuses. Avoid planting later-flowering bulbs in the lawn, however, because the bulb foliage won't have time to ripen before it's time to mow.

Practice Good Garden Sanitation

Removing diseased plant matter from the garden regularly will go a long way toward reducing problems next year. Dispose of diseased material rather than compost it, unless you\'re sure your compost pile heats up thoroughly and you are diligent about turning it regularly to incorporate any partially decomposed material.

Harvest Perennial Herbs

Finish the final harvest of your perennial herbs, such as sage and thyme. Ideally, you want to stop harvesting at least a month before your first fall frost date to allow the plants to naturally progress into dormancy. Harvesting later than that can encourage plants to send up tender new growth that will be susceptible to winter damage.

Grow a Quick Fall Crop

As you remove spent summer crops from your garden beds, sow fast-maturing, cool-season crops in their place, such as radishes, turnips, and greens.

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