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Playing in the dirt: Gardening has seasons, too

 

Sharon Carrigan

Sharon Carrigan

 

 

Sharon Carrigan

 

 

Can I have a Hail State? How about a Hotty Toddy or Roll Tide? Sports seasons roll around with, it seems, greater frequency than Christmas and Easter. Of course, that depends on your age, LOL. But one thing that remains constant is the need for some work in the garden. Gardening has seasons as well, but there's always something to do out there. Now, you can regard that as work or you can regard it as a respite for all that swinging, running, hitting or catching. Or if you are more a couch potato than sports participant, you can regard it as a rest for your eyes. Or if you want to upgrade your gardening skills, you could study up early for the Master Gardener classes next spring. You could learn things like tallow trees are on the "do not sell, do not plant" list because they are not native to the USA and are very invasive. Or you could learn why it is recommended to plant veggies in different spots in the garden from year to year. No spoiler alert for that one; you have to take the class to learn the answer. Regular readers of this monthly missive will remember that I regard gardening as playing. So I hope you will come play with me, whether it's at dawn in the cool, or in the last few hours of daylight.  

 

 

 

This month 

 

  • Plan: Prepare beds for October planting by adding compost or leaf mold, and don't forget to order bulbs. 

     

  • Plant: Daylilies need a sunny location. Divide and transplant Louisiana iris, Easter lily, cannas, liriope, ajuga, and Shasta daisy. Plant cool season vegetables. Plant warm season grasses. Mums should be planted for September bloom and fall color. Marigolds, asters, zinnias and celosia can be planted to replace faded annuals.  

     

  • Fertilize: Treat azaleas, camellias and gardenia with iron chelate if they begin to show yellowing leaves. Feed mums with a complete fertilizer every two weeks and water thoroughly until buds show color. 

     

  • Prune: Cut back annuals to encourage fall blooms. Continue to remove dead heads. Cut back rose canes to 24-30 inches from the ground for autumn blooms. Remove dead and damaged wood from trees and shrubs. 

     

  • Water: Water garden deeply, but infrequently, early in the morning or in late afternoon. Potted plants and hanging baskets need to be watered daily. Make sure azaleas and camellias stay well-watered. 

     

  • Miscellaneous: Mow weekly and leave clippings on the lawn. Turn the compost pile. Feed the birds. 

     

    'Til next time, I'll be playing in the dirt (at dawn). Hope to see you there. 

     

    Sharon Carrigan of Columbus shares monthly gardening tips on behalf of the Lowndes County Master Gardeners.

     

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