Lower South

September, 2013
Regional Report

Watch Out for Brown Patch

September marks the beginning of the brown patch season on our southern St. Augustine lawns. Avoid early and excessive nitrogen fertilization and frequent watering which predisposes turf to attack from this cool-season fungus. Wait until about early to mid October before making your fall fertilizer application.

Divide Perennials

This month is a good time to start dividing summer blooming perennials, including amaryllis, calla, canna, daylily, iris, and liriope. It is also a good time to divide hardy ferns. Work a few inches of compost into the soil and reset these plants for renewed growth. Don't allow them to dry out in the dividing and replanting process.

Plant Fall Vegetables

The fall season is well under way in the southern garden. Plant beets, Chinese cabbage, collards, mustard, carrots, chard, kohlrabi, garlic, kale broccoli, cauliflower, garden peas, radish and turnips this month in the vegetable garden.

Prepare Soil for Wildflower Planting

Planning a mini wildflower meadow or just a "wild" area of the yard? Now is the time to get the spot ready for planting. Wildflowers love sun and good drainage, with few exceptions. Lightly till the soil to loosen the soil and improve germination. Mow turf and meadow areas very closely to help the seedlings receive maximum light and to minimize competition from existing weeds.

Fertilize Citrus

Keep Satsuma oranges, kumquats, and various other citrus plants healthy by fertilizing with a light dose of soluble liquid plant food on a frequent basis. Many types are ripening their fruit now and need a little extra nutrition. Just don't overdo it or fruit quality and winter hardiness will be compromised.

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