Magnolia Landscape Supply Blog

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Tips, tricks and answers to your frequently asked lawn and garden questions.


September Tid Bits

PLANTING

planting tips, magnolia landscape supplyFall is the optimal time to select and plant trees and shrubs. Planting in the fall encourages a good root development, which allows the plants to get established before spring.

You should consider planting deciduous trees on the south and west sides of structures to provide summer shade and it would also not block the winter sun which aids in warming the structure.

October is the time for planting winter pansies,snapdragons, pinks, flowering kale, flowering cabbage and fall mums when the summer’s flowers have faded away but now is the time to prep those flower beds. It is just too hot to go ahead and plant these. If we get an early fall snap you might consider planting late September but they are fall weather plants.

You can divide the crowded perennials just remember to amend your soil before replanting. You should set the divided plants back into the soil at their original height planted as before, water them in well and mulch.

 

Before you bring your potted tropicals like hibiscus, allamanda, ixora or mandevilla inside for the winter. See if they need to be repotted. If so ease the root ball out of the pot so as not to lose much of the existing soil. If the roots are visibly matted around the bottom or sides of the root ball, it is time to pot into a larger container.

Warm Season lawns like Bermuda and Zoysia should not fertilized now. You can over-seed lawns with fresh seed to help fill in the bare spots and crowd out weeds and mosses. If you choose to over-seed your warm-season lawn with a temporary winter lawn grass like annual rye grass, the best dates to do this are from September 1 until November 1.    

FERTILIZE

As stated above this is not the time to fertilize warm-season grasses.

It is recommended that you take soil tests for your lawn and planting areas.

Fall is the time to apply lime as needed. It takes several months to react with acid in your soil to raise the PH to optimal levels. An optimal PH for most plants and lawn is between 6 and 7. Having the proper PH enables your lawn and other plants to utilize the fertilizer in the most efficient way. This results in better plant growth and savings of fertilizer costs. Doing this now, would prepare you for next years spring growth.

PRUNE

· Revitalize your heat-stressed geraniums or begonias for the upcoming fall season by lightly   pruning, fertilizing and watering.

· Remember to not cut back perennials until their leaves and stems have lost all green color.

· Prune houseplants that grew so well during the summer while outdoors before you bring them inside.

· You can lightly prune out dead and/or diseased wood from your trees and shrubs now, but hold off on major pruning until about mid-winter. Pruning now may stimulate tender new growth prior to frost.

WATER

Fall is a good time to replenish your mulches around trees and shrubs, and water every three to five days. Since it has been a wet summer, you should spot check on what needs watering.

Your outdoor container plants need to be checked for water as well.

During the late summer, when pecan kernels are forming, is a critical time for moisture stress.  Pecans should get at least one inch of water weekly. Mature trees can lose hundreds of gallons of water daily through transpiration; unless this lost moisture is replaced, the trees will lose fruit and leaves. Also it would be advisable to mow around the trees to remove vegetation that can use the trees’ moisture. Mowing also creates a smooth surface for harvesting.   

PEST CONTROL

· Remove any diseased plants as soon as you spot it, as well as those that are finished and dying off for the year. Your healthy plant material can be composted.

· Keep all fallen fruit cleaned up to deter pests and disease.

· Keep up with your spray schedule on roses since blackspot and mildew can be extremely damaging in September and October.

· Selective applications of herbicides on perennial weeds are very effective during the fall while the weeds are storing nutrients in their roots for winter.

· Slugs are especially active in September – you should apply slug bait, diatomaceous earth or other slug-control products. Slugs lay clusters of eggs about the size of a small BB. They would usually be under stones, boards and around the edge of your lawn for these colorless eggs and destroy any you find.

To have a lesser fire ant problem next spring, you should get them this fall. See your Quality Co-op store personnel for details.

While you are pruning and/or repotting your houseplants that have spent summers outside, you should check them for any sign of insect or disease before bringing them indoors. Gradually reintroduce these plants to indoor conditions.

ODD JOBS

· The beginning of fall (autumnal equinox) is Thursday September 22.

· You can remove stakes and cages as summer plants finish for the year, and stake tall-growing autumn blooms like salvia, dahlias and chrysanthemums.

· If you will be planting blueberries, rhododendrons or blue hydrangeas, you should prepare the soil now for a spring planting. Add sulfur according to soil test to lower pH. Add organic matter like leaf compost.

· Consider building a cold frame to extend the growing season.

· Fall is a wonderful time for sumptuous decorating. The richer colors, dried seed pods and grasses, and ample harvest provide supplies for some wonderful centerpieces, swags and crafts. Let your imagination be your guide.

· For the Christmas cactus you should start holding back on water and fertilizer until the buds appear.

· Rake up any fallen leaves and compost them. If you don’t have a compost bin or heap, September is a good time to begin one. You can layer grass clippings, dried fallen leaves, soil, a handful of fertilizer and a little moisture. Shredded garden debris can be added as annuals and perennials die back.

· If you have an existing compost heap, now is the time to give it another turn.

· Give your big trees a good once over: be on the lookout for dead or splitting branches, cavities or rotten wood along trunks or branches, mushrooms at the base, cracks or splits in trunks, and trees that have been topped or heavily pruned. If you see any signs of hazards, call a professional tree service. Also trim any tree limbs dangerously close to your roof.

· Consider marking your perennials with permanent tags or create a map, a good thing to have in a garden journal, showing their locations so you’ll know where and what they are when they die back at the end of the season. This will help you to avoid digging up something you intended to keep when you plant bulbs and plants this fall and next spring.

· Keep those weeds at bay will help to improve the appearance of your garden and the health of your plants.

· Don’t forget the birds will soon begin their winter migrations. Put out extra bird feeders to build up their strength before their long journey.   



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