Middle South

September, 2004
Regional Report

Dig Sweet Potatoes

Dig sweet potatoes before the soil cools down. As soon as they're out of the ground, cure them in a warm, airy place where temperatures will remain above 60 degrees at night. Never refrigerate sweet potatoes; they are best stored at room temperature.

Buy Bulbs

Buy spring-blooming bulbs, such as tulips, hyacinths, and crocuses, while the selection is good. Don't worry if you can't plant them just yet, because planting season stretches all the way to Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, store the bulbs in a cool, dry place or in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator.

Feed Cool-Season Lawns

Fescue and bluegrass lawns are ready to bounce back from summer's stress, but they can use a little help. Apply an organic or timed-release fertilizer just before rain is expected. Instead of a "winterizer" lawn food, use a regular lawn fertilizer that's high in nitrogen.

Propagate Phlox

Creeping phlox is a great perennial to propagate and plant this fall. Plants taken from established clumps will make some green growth this fall and winter, then bloom first thing in spring.

Transplant Foxgloves

If you have a fertile spot in a partially shady area of the garden, plant foxgloves. Container-grown seedlings set out now will bloom next spring. The site should have good drainage since the roots rot easily during wet winter conditions.

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