1702 Lakeside Avenue, Suite 6 St. Augustine, Florida 32084
As we head into September we will continue applying our custom blended slow release fertilizer and spot treating for weeds with a post-emergence herbicide. Next month, when our daily temperatures finally allow for it, we will begin our pre and post emergence herbicide blanket applications for the control of weeds.
On a different note, it’s hard to believe—given the brutal high temps August brought us—but September 22 is the first day of Fall. I don’t know about you, but I am more than ready for it! As we head into the cooler months this is the opportune time to transition from heat hearty plants in our gardens to the more delicate varieties.
Flower beds: Now is a great time to prepare and spruce up your flower beds. By planting annuals and bulbs that thrive better in slightly cooler temps, you can add beautiful fall colors to your landscape. Coleus, cosmos, gaillardia, impatiens, marigold, vinca, salvia and zinnia are great examples that thrive well in our area. Fall is also the time to separate and replant your perennials. You want to give them enough time to re-establish before the cold weather sets in. Additionally, some bulbs you might consider planting are: African lily, amaryllis, crinum lily, society garlic, Aztec lily, calla lily, narcissus, shell ginger, gladiolus, spider lily and rain lily.
Vegetables and Herbs: Vegetables like broccoli, kale, collards and lettuce are perfect for planting this time of year (see below for details). If you use the same area for your garden throughout the year, make sure to pull all the plants out after your final summer harvest. Remove the entire plant, roots and all. Doing so helps reduce disease and fungal issues. Rotating the area of your garden plots can also help reduce these issues. This is also the perfect time to plant an outdoor herb garden. Some suggestions are: sweet basil, chives, garlic chives, sage, sweet marjoram, thyme, mint, and rosemary
Pruning: You shouldn’t prune most trees until late winter or early spring .
Irrigating Plants: Remember that as the weather cools, your plants will likely require less supplemental watering.
The preparation for a fall-season garden is the same as for an earlier garden. As I mentioned earlier, if you use the same area for your garden throughout the year, make sure to pull all the plants out after your final summer harvest. Remove the entire plant, roots and all, as it helps reduce disease and fungal issues. Rotating the area of your garden plots can also help reduce these issues. If you are choosing a new spot or are a first time grower, be sure to choose a sunny location because most vegetable grow poorly in the shade. An area that receives at least 8 hours of sunlight per day is best, though some vegetables such as broccoli, collards and spinach can tolerate partial shade. Avoid locating your garden near hedges or trees. They not only create too much shade but also compete with the garden for moisture and nutrients. Locating the garden near the house will make it easier to periodically check the garden for insect pests and disease and to keep an eye on the garden for larger pests such as birds, squirrels, deer and rabbits. Closeness to the house will also make it convenient in tending to the garden chores or harvesting the fruit. Locate the garden near a water supply so it can be watered as needed. You’ll get poor results if you try to grow a garden without watering it as needed. Mulches and high soil organic matter will improve the soil's ability to hold onto water and reduce evaporation.
Cool-season vegetables that can be planted this time of year include leafy-green vegetables like cabbage, collards and spinach. Collards will withstand wide ranges of temperatures if properly conditioned. They may be direct seeded and thinned to cabbage spacing or plants may be set. Collards can be harvested by cutting the whole plant or by "cropping" individual leaves. Other cool-season vegetables that you can enjoy include radish, beets and carrots. Broccoli is also an excellent fall home garden crop. Bulb onions will not be ready to harvest until spring. Plant onions September through December. Radish is fun to grow and it is fast! It should be ready to harvest 25 to 30 days after planting. Plant radish seed September through mid-October. Other cool season vegetables to consider are: Beets, plant Aug. 1-Sept. 20; carrots, plant Aug. 20-Sept. 15; cauliflower, plant Aug. 15-Oct. 15; kale, plant Aug. 15-Oct. 15; lettuce, plant Sept. 1-Oct. 1; mustard, plant Aug. 20-Sept. 10; spinach, plant October-November; turnips plant Aug. 10-Oct. 1.