Coastal and Tropical South

September, 2012
Regional Report

Separate Amaryllis Bulbs

Overcrowded amaryllises may stop blooming, but careless digging can cause problems, where a cut into the flesh of one of these large bulbs can lead to rot. Use the drip line rule and dig up the entire clump starting out where water drips off the leaves. This technique exposes all the bulbs so you can avoid cutting into the by accident.

Compete for Hummingbirds

The desire to host hummingbirds can drive some gardeners to hang up a dozen feeders and even to enrich the mix of nectar to make it more attractive. Do not be tempted to mix water and sugar in equal parts, as my neighbor does. Such an overdose is not good for the birds, who prefer 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. And by the way, red coloring is not desirable, either.

Plant Peas

Plant edible podded peas now for harvest in early winter. Space them 2 or 3 inches apart and put up a string trellis or similar support before you plant. Guide the first tendrils, and their vigorous desire to climb will do the rest.

Maintain Your Landscape

Take photos of your landscape now with an eye towards adding hardscape elements like benches, paths, trellises, and artwork. These are the backbone of design and allow your garden to reflect your personal style, no matter what the season. Review the photos or video to see what you really like as it is and what needs work. Shop now for materials and finally fix the fence or paint that lawn furniture for a different pop of color on the patio.

Rehab Damaged Plants

It has been awhile since anyone set fire to my shrubs, but more than one bed has flooded this year and the plants do not look good. After the fire incident, I noted the nasty bronzed leaves and dehydrated stems. Not surprisingly, those are two of the symptoms displayed by plants that stand too long in water, too. Wait at least two months after a flood before giving up on a plant. Do a scratch test and if the stem is green under the bark, prune the plant and watch for new growth. When you do have to remove a flooded or fire damaged plant, compost it unless you see signs of fungal infection such as gray spores on old flowers.

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