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Perennial planting, care and maintenance

Set perennial plants in their permanent places so their roots are completely covered with prepared soil, but avoid burying the stem or crown. Place container-grown plants the same depth that they were grown; place dormant plants at the depth at which they grew the previous season. To encourage side root growth, make a planting hole twice as wide as deep. With bare-root perennials, spread the roots outward as well as downward. For container-grown plants, loosen encircled roots and shake some of the potting soil into the planting hole. Remember to crumble away the top edges of a peat pot to prevent water loss through wicking. Do not let roots dry out, especially during transplanting.

Water the plants thoroughly to force out any air pockets and to settle the soil. Mark and label the plantings. Mulch the bed surface with pine straw or bark to keep soil from drying, crusting, and overheating in the summer, and to prevent many weed seeds from germinating.

Care and Maintenance

If you do not mulch your plants, use shallow cultivation in the spring and early summer to break and aerate compacted soils. This also aids in water penetration and makes it easier to incorporate fertilizer. Summer cultivation can damage shallow roots and is more difficult because the plants will be larger. Early in the season, stake tall plants with wire stands or bamboo canes. Use care to avoid root damage.

Apply fertilizers sparingly to plants early in their growing season, after new growth begins to show. If plants are growing well, no additional fertilizer may be needed; otherwise, a second light feeding will be helpful several weeks into the season.

In the fall, cut the old plant stalks to the ground after the leaves have fallen and mulch to protect crowns and roots from the harsh extremes of our mild weather followed by sudden cold spells. Remove any winter annual weeds that may have germinated before applying mulch. Fall is also a good time to divide many plants that may be encroaching on one another.

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News

A brown, plastic container is filled with a variety of plants in varying shades of green. Some grasses stand above the other plants. Other foliage drapes over the sides.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens September 17, 2018

When summer starts to roll around to autumn, some gardens and landscapes nearly start all over, as worn-out summer annuals are composted and new seasonal selections take their place.

Dozens of bright-orange pumpkins sit in rows on the grass.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens September 10, 2018

I came to a shocking realization this past weekend: Even though it still feels like summer, the signs are all around us that fall is about to begin.

First, we see the tropics heating up with storm activity. T.S. Gordon made landfall in Pascagoula Sept. 5 and spread rain all the way up to north Mississippi. Behind it are several more tropical storms that we will have to keep an eye on.

Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Herb Gardens, Vegetable Gardens September 4, 2018

Garden enthusiasts and horticultural industry professionals can enjoy the largest home gardening show in the Southeast Oct. 12 and 13.

A single branch has bunches of white berries growing at each leaf junction.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens September 3, 2018

I’ve noticed a common characteristic among us gardeners. As we go through the year, our favorite plants in the landscape and garden seem to change from week to week.

Two long, green bell peppers hang from a plant growing in a container above black plastic.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens August 27, 2018

Several weeks ago, I wrote about looking forward to the time of year when ornamental peppers start strutting their gorgeous fruit colors. What I didn’t mention is that late summer is not just for ornamental peppers; I always get my best home-grown culinary peppers from August until frost in the fall.

My tastes for culinary peppers range from the mild and colorful bell peppers all the way to the superhot selections like Ghost, Scorpion and Carolina Reaper.

Watch

Ornamental Peppers
Southern Gardening

Ornamental Peppers

Sunday, September 16, 2018 - 7:00am
Summer Vinca
Southern Gardening

Summer Vinca

Sunday, September 9, 2018 - 7:00am
Summer Penta
Southern Gardening

Summer Penta

Sunday, September 2, 2018 - 7:00am
Calibrachoa Color
Southern Gardening

Calibrachoa Color

Sunday, August 26, 2018 - 2:00am
Summer Long Container Color
Southern Gardening

Summer Long Container Color

Sunday, August 19, 2018 - 2:00am

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Friday, September 21, 2018 - 2:00am
Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 2:00am
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 2:00am
Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 2:00am
Monday, September 17, 2018 - 2:00am

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