Upper South

September, 2001
Regional Report

Hide Fences with Autumn Clematis

The large vine covered with fragrant white, fluffy flowers is sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniffolia). It grows 20 to 30 feet in a year and is an excellent choice for covering fences. The flowers are followed by swirly seedheads, adding winter interest to the landscape. Cut the vines back in early spring.

Dig Summer Bulbs

Tender bulbs such as caladium, canna, gladiolus, and Peruvian daffodil must be dug up in fall as they can not withstand winter's cold temperatures in our region. After digging, wash off the soil and let dry. Prune off the foliage and dust the bulbs with powdered sulfur. Store in mesh bags (hung from the ceiling to deter mice) in a cool, dry place that does not get below freezing.

Plant Early Spring Bulbs

Early spring blooming bulbs, such as scilla, crocus, snow drops, and early daffodils should be planted now, with later-blooming types such as tulips planted as fall progresses. Plant in clumps, working bonemeal into the soil. Most small bulbs should be planted 3 inches deep and spaced the same distance apart.

Plant Evergreens

Fall is an ideal planting time for evergreens. Water deeply after planting, then mulch with shredded bark or compost. If the weather turns dry, water at least twice a week through fall. Watering helps plants become well-established before freezing weather.

Preserve Tomatoes

If you have a bumper crop of tomatoes, canning is a great way to preserve the harvest for winter. Pints are a good size for most recipes. Follow USDA guidelines for canning. Italian-type tomatoes are peeled and put in jars whole, while larger tomatoes are peeled and cut up into pieces. I like to include a sprig of basil and a garlic clove in each jar for extra flavor.

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