Upper South

September, 2012
Regional Report

Divide Daylilies

After three to five years, daylilies may not bloom as profusely as the clumps grow larger and larger. Dividing them is the solution for rejuvenating them, and fall is good time to get a jumpstart on this task. Dig up the clump and divide into sections with two to five fans of leaves. Washing the root clump may be necessary to loosen the roots. Replant in the same area as before, add to a new area, or share with friends.

Shop Sales, Then Plant

Garden centers usually have their big end-of-season sales around Labor Day, but there are still bargains to be found. Check their websites, the newspaper, or call. When planting, be sure to loosen the root ball, especially those roots that were on the bottom of the pot. If fall rains don't appear, water the plants deeply once a week. Apply an organic mulch over the soil after planting to conserve moisture and keep weeds at bay while new roots are developing before the ground freezes.

Dig Tender Bulbs

Often gladiolus and cannas will safely overwinter outdoors in our region, but if you have some special ones, now is the time to dig and store them for the winter. Dahlias and other plants that bloom in the summer from tender bulbs, corms, rhizomes, and roots are also dug now. Spread the plants on screens in a dry place for several days, then cut off the tops and gently brush off any remaining soil. Label, place in mesh or paper bags, and store in a cool, dark place.

Plant Cilantro

Cilantro is one of the world's most widely used herbs, yet it can be confounding to grow. Bottom line, cilantro grows best with cooler temperatures. Sow the seed of this annual now, provide plants with some protection from freezing temperatures, and you'll have fresh cilantro at least until Christmas, if not longer. Sowing seed directly into the garden is preferred as transplanting often causes the plants to bolt. To have a continuous supply of cilantro, let plants go to seed and naturally self-sow.

Decorate for Fall

Pumpkins, gourds, bittersweet, branches of colored leaves as well as mums, asters, ornamental kales, and pansies are all available now for creating colorful areas both indoors and out. These displays can be as simple or as elaborate as time and money allow. Even something as simple as attaching a bow to a lamp post and setting a large pumpkin in an urn is effective. Or empty window boxes of their bedraggled annuals and replant with fall flowers or simply mound gourds on top of the soil.

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