Lower South

September, 2011
Regional Report

Shear Roses

Roses have a fall bloom show coming up in late September and October. Prune them back by a third now, and then fertilize and water them well. The plants will respond with new growth and lots more blooms as a result.

Plant Warm Season Fall Flowers

Zinnias, petunias, marigolds, and other warm season annuals can be planted now for a colorful display all the way to the first hard frost. In fact, in the cooler days of fall their color seems even more vibrant!

Inspect Drip Irrigation Lines

Drip irrigation lines can become clogged with lime or iron deposits as well as other debris. Check the lines when the system is running to make sure all emitters are working properly. Depending on the problem, you may need to flush the end of the lines or soak emitters in some vinegar to dissolve the buildup.

Start Fall Transplants Indoors

This is a good time to start transplants of some cool weather leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach. If you hurry you can also start transplants of the cole crops, which include kohlrabi, kale and broccoli.

Air Layer Giant Houseplants

Do you have a ficus tree, dracaena or other houseplant that is getting too tall and lanky to fit in the room where you want to place it over the winter season? Rather than purchase a new one you can use a propagation technique called air layering to get roots to form somewhere on the main stem(s). In a few weeks you can cut the rooted branch off and repot it. In fact you can make several new plants from a giant old one this way.

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