Middle South

September, 2005
Regional Report

Create a Windowsill Herb Garden

Dig up perennial herbs, such as chives and parsley, and pot them up to bring indoors. Start seeds of dill, basil, and other annual herbs to complete your windowsill garden.

Plant Garlic

Plant garlic four to six weeks before the first frost date. Fall-planted garlic yields much better results than spring-planted crops. Avoid planting grocery store garlic, because it may have been treated with sprout inhibitors. Rather, order garlic for planting, or purchase organic garlic from a local farmer.

Prepare New Garden Beds

Dig new garden beds in preparation for planting next spring. Till the area and incorporate organic matter, such as leaves and grass clippings. Plant a cover crop -- barley, winter rye, and/or Austrian peas -- to suppress weeds, minimize compaction by winter rains, and further increase organic matter when you till it in next spring.

Be Prepared for Early Frosts

Set aside some large cardboard boxes, old blankets, and tarps to cover tender plants if an early frost threatens. These early frosts are often followed by several weeks of warm weather. Cover plants in the late afternoon and remove the coverings the next morning after temperatures have warmed up.

Plant Bulbs Right Side Up

When planting bulbs, orient them so the correct side is up. Usually the pointy part is the top. However, if you are unsure of which is the top, plant the bulb on its side.

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