Start Cool-Season Transplants
Sow seeds of snapdragons, dianthus, pansies, calendulas, and other cool-season flowers in flats, or in well-prepared areas of the garden, for planting outside during mid- to late fall. Keep the soil moist to insure good germination.
Divide Spring Perennials
It's time to divide spring-flowering perennials, such as iris, Shasta daisies, oxeye daisies, gaillardia, cannas, daylilies, violets, liriope, and ajuga. Reset some in other areas of the garden and pot up the rest for fall planting or sharing with friends. Maintain good soil moisture and fertilize lightly a couple of weeks later to insure successful establishment and promote good growth prior to winter.
A late-summer pruning of rose bushes can be beneficial. Prune out dead canes and any weak, brushy growth. Cut back tall, vigorous bushes to about 30 inches. After pruning, apply 1/2 cup of complete fertilizer in a circular area extending 3 feet out from the bush in all directions, and water it in thoroughly. Protect foliage from diseases to insure a bountiful display of flowers this fall.
Watch for Chinch Bugs
Late summer brings the second generation of chinch bugs in the lower south. Watch for infestations, which show up as dying grass adjacent to curbs, driveways, and other masonry structures in full sun. Treat these areas early to prevent loss of the turf.
Last Call for Warm-Season Vegetables
There is still time for a late planting of cucumbers, beans, and summer squash. Planting in late summer allows the crops to ripen in fall when temperatures are cooling and quality will be outstanding. Provide the seed row a little shade cover to help germinating seeds get off to a good start.