Middle South

October, 2012
Regional Report

Cut Back Disease-Prone Perennials

Before the onset of winter, be sure to cut back and clear away the foliage of phlox, bee balm, peonies, and other herbaceous perennials that are prone to diseases such as powdery mildew and botrytis. You don't want to leave fungal spores such as these to overwinter in the garden, as they can impact next year's plants.

Move Foxglove Seedlings

Now is the perfect time to move foxglove seedlings that may be clustered together around the base of a parent plant. As long as days are warm, they should establish well in a new location.

Plant Minor Bulbs

Minor bulbs, such as crocus, grape hyacinths, snowdrops, and anemones, are ideal for naturalizing in lawns and natural areas. For drifts, scatter them randomly and plant them where they fall.

Harvest Crops Before Frost

Keep your eye on the weather and harvest late crops, such as sweet potatoes, pumpkins, gourds, and winter squash, before freezing temperatures arrive. After a curing period of a week to 10 days, store in a cool (about 50 degrees) location with 50 to 75 percent humidity.

Water Newly-Planted Trees and Shrubs

Early autumn rain can be spotty in the Middle South, so don't rely on Mother Nature to sustain plants with undeveloped root systems. Keep a constant check on soil moisture and irrigate as necessary.

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