Gardening With Tim, September 17, 2010

September is half over and the temps have cooled down some even though the afternoons can still be hot.  So continue to be careful outside and take care not to get too hot.  

There is not a lot going on in the garden right now.  Our roses are starting to put on a fall flush of blooms and the crepe myrtles are blooming like mad.  Continue to water your container plants regularly and waterbeds deeply about once a week while the rain is scarce. 

Now is the time to start thinking about getting your garden ready for a long winter’s nap.  I suggest that you take soil samples and get them tested to see what amendments you need to add now so that they will have time to set in for spring.  Mississippi State University can do your soil testing for you at a minimal cost of six dollars per sample.  I think that it is well worth the expense.  You can pick up the sample boxes free of charge at the Union County Extension Service Office and fill them up and return them back there, where they will forward them on to the lab at MSU.  It takes about two weeks to get the results and they are mailed directly to your home and they are easy to read, not an explanation that takes a scientist to read and interpret for you.  This is something that I do every couple of years.  

This would be a good time to start planning any new beds for next year.  Go ahead and till them up and add any amendments that are needed and till them in.  If you have a large area that you are going to take in that is covered with grass, I suggest that you go ahead and give it a shot of round up, and then till it under about a week later.  Ms. Janet and I are adding a large bed to the side of our house and the round up will cut down in the amount of prep time to get rid of the grass.  

Check roses for any disease problems and remove any and all foliage that is diseased.  Don’t leave any of it in the beds, gather it, bag it, and dispose of it out of the garden area.  Then mix up a good fungicide and give them a good soaking.  You can even include a pesticide in this mix.  I recommend spraying in the morning if you are only using a fungicide, but if you have included a pesticide in the mix, wait till about mid afternoon to spray to protect our honey bee friends and birds.  They are not very active at this time and after a couple of hours it will not affect them.  

Brother armadillo is on the loose again and I apologize to my neighbors for the noise this morning when I finally found him and disposed of him.  If you have any good suggestions to rid the planet of them, let me know.  They seem to be the most destructive thing in our garden along with brother mole.  I bought a mole trap at a yard sale and am giving it a try.  When it works, maybe I can make an old time powder puff for Ms. Janet.

If you have any thoughts, suggestion, or comments, send me an email at  or leave me a message at the Union County Extension Office at 662-534-1916.

 Happy Gardening and keep digging in the dirt.