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Monthly Garden Gossip

September, 2017

Welcome to our garden! We're proud of our hard work and want to share the reward with you, so here is what's going on in the garden this month..Central Alabama

Daylilies and tall bearded iris can be transplanted successfully in the fall. Dig each clump of daylilies with as much root system as possible, knock off the soil and some of the plants should separate.  Plant the divisions about 12 to 18" a part and keep them well watered for a couple of weeks until they are established.

Dig your iris, divide and remove any damaged parts from the rhizomes, replant. Trim the leaves into the shape of a fan. If left untrimmed the wind can blow them over and uproot them. Do not plant too deeply as the rhizomes need sun. Water about twice a week until they are rooted in. Bone meal is a good fertilizer as well as 6-10-10. Fertilize in early spring and again about a month after bloom. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers since it encourages rot problems.



Alabama Croton

Alabama Croton

Native Plants

Native plants are an excellent source of landscape trees and shrubs. Since they are native, they are well adapted to the area and need very little extra care other than watering. Join Sue Webb on Sunday, September 24, at 2:00pm for a seminar on native plants. She is our resident expert on this subject.


If you are looking for some late summer color and an extrodinary fragrance consider Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora). It is a large vine often growing to 30 feet. It can cover a fence or a shed no problem. The abundant small white flowers become a mass of silvery seed heads. There in lies the problem

Considered invansive by some, but if handled wisely that should not be a problem. After the bloom show, I prune mine back to about 12 inches from the ground before any seeds start to develop. That has solved the invasive problem for me. I did not do this when I first had the clematis and I had lots of new plants coming up everywhere.

Autumn Clematis

Autumn Clematis is hardy to zone 4, prefers full sun but can grow in shade. Like all clematis it prefers to have it's roots well mulched to keep them cool.

Spraying for Grass and Weeds

Be careful if glyphosate (Round Up) is used.  Generally it is best to move to another herbicide this time of year such as the "Grass Killer" Sethoxydim sold as Grass Getter.  Round up can still be used but be careful around your fruit plants not to get it on the trunks or stems as it can be absorbed into the plant.

Late September would be an excellent time to apply pre-emergent to your lawn to prevent those pesky winter weeds from germinating. Once they sprout it is too late to apply the pre-emergent. Fertilome Broad Leaf Weed Control with Gallery is an example of one that will control winter weeds and spring weeds.


The 2018 wildflower seed is now in stock. October through January is an excellent time to plant seed for these spring flowering annuals. They bring an abundance of color to the spring garden. Many of these seeds need the cold weather to help them germinate. Prepare your bed by lightly tilling or raking the area. Then sow the seed with 1 part seed to 4 parts sand. This helps to disperse the seed so there won't be clumps of seed in one place and none in the other. Then water everything in. The seeds are sold for $1.00 per tablespoon or teaspoon depending on the size of the seeds.

Do you think your soil is too acid or alkaline? The proper PH is crucial for gardening success. Call your county agent for a soil test kit and for a small fee, you will find your problem and how to correct it.

fall vegetables

Now is the time to start planting the fall vegetable garden. This is my favorite garden. Plant all your brassica seeds or plants now such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, rapini, collards, etc. We will have a huge selection of these plants at the nursery about the middle of September. Our lettuce plants will be available in about two weeks. There is also a huge selection of seeds for many different kinds of lettuce. Spinach, beets and carrots may also be planted now for havest in early winter Don't forget about the turnip greens! All our 2018 vegetable and flowers seed are here and available.

If you haven't done so already replant your multiplying onions too. 


Bulbs should be arriving about the middle of September. Shop early for the best selections. Shelley is our bulb buyer and she buys only the bulbs that are suited to our area.

Camelia Shi Shi Gizara

Fall is a good time to plant trees and perennials. The temperatures are cooler and normally we have more rain in the winter months and these plants and trees will root in well. When spring arrives they are ready to go. Our trees will be arriving about the middle of September and there will be a very good selection of flowering trees as well as shade trees.

The camellias will be arriving the middle of September also. It is a good time to choose and plant new camellias when they are in bloom. Fertilize camellias in late winter with an azalea-camellias fertilizer or a general all purpose fertilizer such as 13-13-13. Apply one half pound for each well established plant six to eight feet tall.

Pecan Scab

We have had quite a bit of most welcomed rain this year but with all the humidity and moisture we are seeing quite a bit of pecan scab. While it is too late to do anything about the problem to help this year's crop of pecans, you can do something to prevent damage next year. Since the fungus overwinters in debris under the tree it is important to clean up all shoots, shucks and leaves under your trees. This helps to relieve the concentration of spores under the trees the following year. Pruning to increase air circulation is a good idea too.


Pecan Scab

Pansies will be arriving about the first of October