Lower South

September, 2004
Regional Report

Plant Cool-Season Cole Crops

September is the season for planting cole crops in the vegetable garden. These include broccoli, cauliflower, collards, cabbage, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, and kale. In middle regions of the state, planting can continue until late in the month, but in the northern parts, the sooner the better. We also can begin to plant beets, Chinese cabbage, collards, mustard, carrots, chard, garlic, peas, radishes, and turnips.

Divide Summer Perennials

This month is a good time to start dividing summer-blooming perennials including amaryllis, calla lilies, cannas, daylilies, iris, and liriope, as well as hardy ferns. Work a few inches of compost into the soil and reset these plants for renewed growth. Don't allow them to dry out in the dividing and replanting process.

Fertilize Citrus

Keep Satsuma oranges, kumquats, and various other citrus plants healthy by fertilizing with a light dose of soluble liquid plant food on a frequent basis. Many types are ripening their fruit now and need a little extra nutrition. Just don\'t overdo it or fruit quality and winter hardiness will be decreased.

Prepare Houseplants for the Move Indoors

Houseplants that have spent the summer outdoors often bring pests inside when they are brought in for the winter. Check them over and get rid of pests like mites, aphids, scale, and mealybugs while they are still outdoors. Soap or oil sprays are often enough to clean up a minor infestation.

Prevent Brown Patch on St. Augustine Lawns

Brown patch thrives in cool, rainy weather. It doesn't kill turf but rots the leaves off the runners. Fertilizing too much or too early can predispose turf to attack from this cool-season fungus. Preventative sprays are available, but once the circles appear, sprays will not make them green up. You just have to wait until warm weather arrives and the turf resumes good growth.

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