Archive | September 2014


PREPARE PLANTS NOW FOR DRY WEATHER – Dryness can be guarded against by using a thin layer of mulch (2 – 3 inches) of pine straw, shredded leaves, wood chips, or bark to conserve water in the soil for use by the plant – place mulch around base of plants. Check with the power company for a load of shredded wood chips (compost these for 4 – 6 months before using around plants). Consider using landscape fabrics underneath the mulch in dry soils.

HERBICIDE CAN BE USED to control weeds prior to planting vegetables and flowers. Round-Up is a common weed killer that can be used.

FROST SENSITIVE BEDDING PLANTS can be safely planted the first week of May. Be careful about the amount of fertilizer used at planting time. One pound per 100 square feet.

PINCH PLANTS FOR FLOWERS – Pinch back mums, zinnia, salvia (red sage), cockscomb (celosia), petunias, marigolds, and snapdragons to slow down top growth, encourage lateral branching and more blooms. Use your index finger and thumbnail to break out the lead growth at tip of plant.

DIVIDE CANNAS. Clumps of cannas should be divided every three or four years to encourage flowering and set root sections 5 – 6 inches deep. 15 inches apart.

FERTILIZE CRAPE MYRTLES AND ROSE OF SHARON with one cup of 10-10-10 per plant to get abundant summer bloom throughout the summer months; additional applications are needed in June and August. Spray twice this month for aphid control (insecticidal Soap, oil or chemicals are needed) If mildew occurs, apply Benomyl or Bayleton fungicides.

AZALEA LEAF GALL shows up now. Swollen leaves covered with a white powdery material may be seen – it is not too destructive – just pick off the leaves and burn them to prevent spread of the leaf gall.


CUTTING A ROSE – The removal of too much wood and foliage can seriously weaken your roses, especially during the first year. Leave 2 – 3 well-developed leaves between the cut and the main stem. A mixture of half Sprite and half water makes a good floral preservative in your vase.

GIVE HOUSE PLANTS A VACATION – Potted plants grown indoors over winter can become a part of the garden setting now. All types of indoor plants, including your collection of foliage plants, may be placed in the shady garden border, mostly among shrubs. Lot plants spend the summer outdoors to thrive in nature’s rains and fresh air. Control insect pests as needed with Safer soap products or 10% alcohol in water.


CHECK FOR BORERS ON DEODORA CEDARS – Boers on those trees can weaken the tree and make it more susceptible to winter injury. A chemical such as lindane or thiodan can be sprayed to help control borers.

BERMUDAGRASS (WIREGRASS) IS EASY TO CONTROL in ornamental plantings thanks to new grass herbicides Vantage and Grass-B-Gon Spray before grass is 6” high.

CHECK WITH LOCAL GARDEN SHOPS for innovations in drip irrigation. A drip system with timer can be a great labor-saver when dry weather arrives.

SIDE DRESS (fertilize) vegetables 6 weeks after planted.

SPRAY RED TIP PHOTINIA if leaf spot is observed.

PLANT TENDER VEGETABLES and annuals {ex. tomatoes, peppers, melons – flowers – marigolds, zinnias, etc.)

CONTINUE REMOVING THE TIPS from fast-growing evergreens at growth intervals of 6 – 8”.

FOR BUSHY PINES cut back the new growth 1/3 to 1/2 in late May.