Coastal and Tropical South

September, 2007
Regional Report

Dividing Amaryllis Beds

Established beds of amaryllis bulbs can get too thick to bloom. Whether the perennial garden's traditional red trumpets or the fanciest striped beauties grown first as gift plants, a crowded planting must be dug up completely and carefully. Separate the bulbs, or cut between them, but not into their flesh.

Mixing Hummingbird Nectar

Recently, I've heard of "competitive" gardeners trying to attract more hummingbirds to their feeders by thickening the nectar. Instead of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water, they mix in a 1:1 ratio! Don't do it! Thicker nectars are no better for hummingbirds than red food coloring in the mix, and they may not be good for the birds.

Plant Peas

Planting English peas or edible-podded peas in our regions can be challenging. The warmest or wettest falls can wipe them out as surely as an unexpected freeze. Since the almanacs predict a wet fall and warm winter, start planting peas now. Sow sweet peas for flowers in early November.

Focus on Permanent Garden Fixtures

Put your best ideas into action now to improve the hardscape elements in your garden. Whether a fence needs reinforcement or a plant needs a new trellis, shop now. Consider seriously painting or staining new and old pieces to provide continuity in the landscape.

Prune Dried Foliage

A backyard bonfire or a more serious incendiary event can scorch leaves of shrubs or trees and give them an unhealthy bronzing. Heat and the rapid drying of the plant material can easily kill the growing tips, too. Prune off the damage, then scratch the stems further back to be sure they're green.

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