Coastal and Tropical South
Plant Root Crops
Beets, turnips, and carrots can grow in our region, and planting time begins this month. Sandy soils may need extra trace element fertilizer. Heavy soils may need to be amended with ground bark or you can build raised beds. Be sure to thin seedlings to 3 inches apart.
Decorate With Dried Garden Flowers
Use dried hydrangea flowers for indoor decorating. Cut blossoms from the garden and bring them inside to dry. Spray gold paint on dried blossoms to put a glow in fall arrangements.
Go Gourd Crazy
Snakes, swans, and apples aren't always what you'd expect. Fall brings gourds with these names in addition to classic dipper and birdhouse types. Use fresh gourds for decorating, keeping them out of direct sun. Harvest fresh gourds with 3 inches of stem attached for longest shelf life.
After a nice rain, when the daytime temperatures have moderated just a bit, get started sowing seeds for "wildflowers" like coreopsis, coneflowers, and rudbeckia. Don't bury these too deeply, just be sure they make good contact with the moist soil. Mulch lightly and look for seedlings in about a month.
Store Sweet Potatoes
Few of us grow sweet potatoes but we love to eat them. Buy a box or two now for best flavor, and store them yourself in a dark, indoor closet. Cold sweets lose sugar when exposed to heat, light, or refrigerator conditions.