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Mike's Mini-Garden Calendar

September

This is the month cool season lawn lovers have been waiting for. If you prepared the lawn in August by killing the existing grass and weeds and tilling its now time to reseed with fescue and blue grass. Of course you can patch the trouble areas of your lawn without doing a complete overhaul. If you take this route, be sure to aerate the existing lawn so it can get a little air into its system. Buy the best varieties of seed you can find for this area. Several varieties like "Wolfpack" and "Tar Heel" were developed at N.C. State University and grow well in the heat and drought of this area. Place wheat straw sparingly over the seeded areas. The new seedlings should not be allowed to dry out. The existing fescue and blue grass should be fertilized using a formula of one pound of nitrogen for every thousand square feet. A good 16-4-8 slow release fertilizer will fill the bill. The first number is the nitrogen percentage. The cool season lawn also needs a lime, but it would be a good idea to get a soil test before you waste your money. Hopefully it wonít be as dry as some Septembers seem to be, but itís essential that the grass, new and old, get plenty of water to build a root system and survive the winter. Warm season grasses can be over seeded with rye grass or allowed to go dormant. Do not fertilize warm season grasses again until May.

Roses should be deadheaded and sprayed and watered as youíve been doing all summer. This is probably a good time to stop fertilizing roses. You can plant roses during September. Be sure to clean up leaves and petals from underneath roses to prevent disease from spreading.

Itís a good month to plant some fall blooming perennials like those beautiful garden mums. Otherwise, keep your perennials watered and pinched back.

September begins a period of good planting conditions for shrubs and trees. Keep them watered and I personally wouldnít fertilize them at this time. Always have a plan ready so you can plant the right cultivar in the correct location in your landscape. Continue to watch for insect and disease pests.

Pansies and other cool season annuals can be planted now. If you need to divide your perennials like day lilies this is a good month to do so.


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