Middle South

September, 2009
Regional Report

Deadhead Liriope

Remove fading flowers from liriope unless you admire the dark, berry-like seeds that form or want some babies to transplant. Left in place, the seeds may sprout up in unexpected places, something that may, or may not, be desirable in your landscape.

Revive Roses

As the daytime temperatures begin to cool you can revive roses with a light application of fertilizer, plenty of water, and persistent deadheading. Repeat bloomers will soon put out a new flush of blooms and may continue flowering into November, or even December.

Divide Peonies

Peonies can be finicky, but if you want to move or divide them, fall is the best time to try. Dig up the plant, saving as many roots as possible, then rinse with water to wash away the soil. Cut the peony into parts, leaving 3 to 5 buds on each section. Then replant in full sun and well-drained soil so that the buds are 2 inches deep.

Jump-Start Composting

When starting new compost piles this fall, jump-start the decomposition process by adding several large scoops of finished compost from an old pile. The hungry microbes in the old compost will feast on the new plant material, getting the ball rolling more quickly.

Bring Houseplants Indoors

Bring most houseplants inside by the end of the month, even if the days are still warm. Trim back leggy growth, check carefully for insect pests, and flush away fertilizer salts with water. Plants that need decreasing sunlight and cool weather to bloom, such as holiday cactus, should remain outside until frost threatens.

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