Coastal and Tropical South

September, 2013
Regional Report

Clean Up the Garden

Garden sanitation takes center stage as the most active growing season slows down. Cut down weeds, rake leaves as they fall, and rogue out invasives like Jewels of Opar that you can't stand to kill completely. Then spread a new layer of mulch over the whole garden.

Give Hibiscus a Haircut

The glory that is glossy leaf hibiscus can get a bit ragged this time of year. Plants may be overgrown, have a few bugs, or even stop blooming. Cut them back by about one third right now, fertilize with a flower formula, and watch for new leaves now and flowers by November.

Sow Leaf lettuce

Plant lettuce seeds this month. Pick a spot in the flowerbed or vegetable row that isn't in full sun. Work the soil well and rake very smooth, then sow seed on top. Press in, but don't cover. Use a floating row cover for best results.

Try Trench Composting

Use a version of sheet composting to dispose of large amounts of green matter and renew the soil at the same time. In flowerbeds, fencerows and hedge plantings, simply dig a shallow trench, and bury up to six inches of rotten stems, leaves and other green matter. Cover with soil.

Plant Spinach

September is the only good time to plant traditional spinach varieties in our region, and the later the better. Work up a small area in the garden now, and add lime to the soil to sweeten it. Later, soak seed for a couple of hours in warm water before planting.

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