Lower South

September, 2005
Regional Report

Trim Herbs for Fall

Shear back herb plants that are ragged looking from the effects of summer. They will respond with new growth in the coming months. Fall is a good weather for herbs, and that new growth will develop some wonderful flavor for cooking and for making herbal oils and vinegars.

Rejuvenate Heat-Stressed Summer Flowers

Petunias, geraniums, begonias, and other summer flowers that have become a little ragged over the last few months of heat and drought can be rejuvenated now for a great rerun in the fall season. Lightly prune them back and give them a dose of fertilizer followed by a good watering. They'll reward you with another couple of months of super blooms.

Plant Marigolds for Fall

Plant marigolds now for a gorgeous fall display that will outshine fall mums and will last until the first frost. The large blooms of the African marigolds make an especially dramatic splash of yellow and orange. Mites are not much of a problem on fall marigolds. Keep the young plants well watered, and fertilize them lightly every two weeks.

Stop Fertilizing Woody Ornamentals

Don't push tender ornamentals into late-season growth, especially semi-tender ones like fig trees. Extra nitrogen and luxuriant watering can promote late flushes of growth, which are prone to cold injury. Marginally hardy plants need to have plenty of time to slow growth and prepare for winter.

Leave Lawn Clippings

Returning clippings to the turf when you mow. They slowly decompose to feed your lawn. They also will help mulch the soil surface and can help cover bare soil areas to deter those cool-season weeds that will soon be germinating if exposed to sunlight.

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