Lower South

September, 2012
Regional Report

Start Cuttings of Cold Tender Plants

Take cuttings of plants that won't survive the cold of winter. Root them to start new plants for overwintering indoors or in a greenhouse. That way you'll be ready to plant them back outdoors when the danger of cold is past.

Plant Cole Crops

Now is the time to begin setting out transplants of the related vegetables we know as cole crops, which include broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, and cauliflower. Water the transplants after planting with a dilute solution of soluble fertilizer to get them off to a good start.

Start Cool Season Greens

Cool season greens such as spinach and lettuce grow best in cool temperatures. You can begin planting them out in the garden now or, to hedge your bet, start them as transplants in a bright shady spot outdoors. After the seeds germinate and several leaves are formed gradually move them into more sun and transplant into the garden when they are several weeks old.

Cover Tender Seedlings

Newly emerged seedlings and young transplants are a favorite target of hungry caterpillars and other pests. Cover them with a lightweight row cover fabric suspended over the row. Tuck the edges under the soil to prevent pests from getting to them. This will allow them to grow undamaged and avoid the need to spray them for pests.

Watch for Cool Season Weeds

Cool season weeds such as henbit, carpetweed, chickweed, annual bluegrass, and clover will soon be sprouting in lawns, flower beds, and gardens. Take steps to prevent these invaders from sprouting with a cover of mulch in garden beds, or be ready to skim the soil surface in garden beds with a hoe while the weeds are young and easy to destroy with a minimum of effort.

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