Monday, September 23, 2019

A Little Taste of Fall

Horticulture Hotline 09/23/19

For the new readers of the Horticulture Hotline, my “To Do Lists” are designed to help you target a few activities in your yard and in your home that will benefit you in the future.  These lists are not designed to interfere with high school, college, or professional football games, sunset boating, shrimping, hunting, golfing, eating chicken wings at a local sports bar, oyster roasts, collecting oysters or clams from the local waters, or watching NASCAR on the couch with closed eyes! Shopping the sales (saving money), getting a foot massage, and going to the movies should not be interfered with.  This is not designed to be a “honey do” list.

Hurricane Dorian came by the Charleston area about three weeks ago. Now is the perfect time to look up into your trees (and your neighbors if their trees hang over into your yard) and look for broken off limbs that are hanging over your yard. The broken off limb’s leaves should have turned brown by now and be very visible against the green leaves of the tree.

The reason why this is the perfect time is because if your trees are deciduous (leaves fall off in winter) you won’t have the brown versus green contrast. Rain has been spotty since the storm. Be sure to water. Watch for worm damage and mole crickets.

Many of you will be changing out annual color in the next few weeks. While the beds are empty, you have to chance to amend your soil for better flower production and address any drainage problems. If the bed stays wet, this is a good time to raise it with the addition of soil or amendments. You can also crown the bed so it drains off to the sides.

Back To Natures’ Flower Bed Amendment has proven to do a superb job in our Lowcountry soils. The special blend of composted cotton burrs, composted cattle manure, feather meal, cottonseed meal, and alfalfa meal has the best of gardeners coming back for more. Alfalfa contains Triacantanol, a natural growth enhancer, and is high in organic Nitrogen to get your plants growing. Flower Bed amendment may also help in the suppression and control of certain fungal diseases.

Here is what Dr. Herman Daniell had to say about his experience with the product, “The cotton burr flower bed mulch with amendments has been a superior product for my rose garden. I have had healthier bushes with more blooms since I began using this product.”

Many of you will also be changing out containers, hanging baskets and potted plants. If your plants are in an exposed place requiring daily watering, consider adding soil moist or other water holding gels to your soil. These gels and the use of a wetting agent like Aqueduct can make your life much easier. If you go away for the weekend, your plants will hardly miss you.

If you applied preemergent herbicides in August, put your follow up application out eight to ten weeks later. We have a very long season for weed seeds to germinate here, so you must keep that protective barrier in place. Up North the soil gets too cold for the winter weeds to germinate after a short window of time; however, here the window of opportunity for those pesky winter weeds stays open much longer.