Coastal and Tropical South

October, 2005
Regional Report

Sow Poppies

If you want to grow Shirley poppies or Iceland poppies, now is the time to plant the seeds. Jiffy 7's (the flat peat discs that puff up when watered) work very well for these seeds. Plant the entire Jiffy pots once the seedlings are 4 inches tall.

Pot Up Tulips

Fill a 6-inch clay pot half full of potting mix. Set six tulips in the pot with the flat sides toward the outside rim. Fill with more mix, then water once. Put the pot in the refrigerator and water weekly for about 12 weeks. Move to a sunny window when bulbs sprout.

Shorten Vines

Take the time to shorten wayward vines now and prune out any dead growth underneath, too. Ivy, wisteria, and coral honeysuckle grow nearly all year long but can get downright rampant in late summer. Clip off the most out-of-control sprouts and neaten up the vines.

Multiply Alliums

Don't stop with chive plants and onion sets for good eating. Charge ahead to growing the allium family from seeds. Start leeks in pots, then plant in a trench to fill in as the roots grow to keep them white. Sow evergreen bunching onion seeds thickly, then thin for early eating.

Build New Beds

Fall can be the perfect time to build new garden beds. Use a shovel to turn the soil first, then use the tiller or shovel to incorporate 4 to 6 inches of organic matter and a sprinkling of lime. If soil sticks to shovels or tiller tines, stop and wait another day for it to dry out.

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