Lower South

September, 2005
Regional Report

Plant Naturalizing Bulbs and Other Perennial Flowers

Now is a good time to plant naturalizing bulbs, which are those species adapted to our climate that return dependably for years of beauty and enjoyment. Narcissus, oxblood lilies (Rhodophiala bifida), spider lilies (lycoris), amaryllis, daylily, and rain lilies (zephranthes) are among the time-tested choices. Work a few inches of compost into the soil prior to planting.

Brown Patch Season Arrives Soon

September marks the beginning of the brown patch season on our southern St. Augustine lawns. Avoid early and excessive nitrogen fertilization and frequent watering which predisposes turf to attack from this cool-season fungus. Wait until about early to mid October before making your fall fertilizer application.

Dividing Perennials

This month is a good time to start dividing summer blooming perennials, including amaryllis, calla, canna, daylily, iris, and liriope. It is also a good time to divide 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.

Fall Vegetable Planting Time

The fall season is well under way in the southern garden. Plant beets, Chinese cabbage, collards, mustard, carrots, chard, kohlrabi, garlic, kale broccoli, cauliflower, garden peas, radish and turnips this month in the vegetable garden.

Prepare Soil for Wildflower Planting

Planning a mini wildflower meadow or just a "wild" area of the yard? Now is the time to get the spot ready for planting. Wildflowers love sun and good drainage, with few exceptions. Lightly till the soil to loosen the soil and improve germination. Mow turf and meadow areas very closely to help the seedlings receive maximum light and to minimize competition from existing weeds.

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