Lower South

September, 2011
Regional Report

Prepare Soil for Woody Ornamental Planting

Fall planting season in just around the corner. Now is a great time to prepare the soil in the areas where new shrubs, trees, or woody vines will be planted in the coming months. Mix a few inches of compost into the soil as deeply as is practical throughout the entire area where you will plant. When planting time comes you will have a wide bed ready for the new woody ornamentals.

Rescue Trees

If you are in one of the areas of the Lower South that has endured a long drought this year, the trees in your yard are likely stressed from the lack of soil moisture. Trees that are stressed are more susceptible to a variety of insect and disease problems. Give trees a deep soaking in the entire area beneath the branch spread. Either allow a hose to run, moving it periodically, or use a sprinkler and run it in each area until you have caught two inches of water in a rain gauge or straight sided can.

Purchase Bulbs

Bulb planting season is just around the corner. Plan out some new bulb plantings for this fall. Choose species that naturalize in your areas. These offer years of beauty in their annual bloom cycles. Follow directions for the proper planting depth each species and prepare the soil in the planting area to help them get off to a good start.

Prepare Soil for Sweet Peas

For the best ornamental sweet pea blooms next spring, plant the seeds this fall. Prepare the area now by mixing an inch of compost into the soil about six inches deep. Don't add extra fertilizer as the plants won't need it unless the soil is seriously deficient. Plant the seed in late September and water them in well after planting.

Maintain Moist Soil for Berrying Plants

Plants carrying a load of berries, such as various hollies and pyracantha, need to be provided moderately moist soil during these hot and often dry weeks. This will help them hold onto and ultimately ripen a beautiful load of fruit for fall and early winter color.

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