This month’s flowers, playful pansy, morning glory

September in the garden

BY LORI MURRAY

The flower for September birthdays: The playful pansy insinuates merriment and thoughtfulness while September’s other flower, the morning glory, represents affection.

POINSETTIAS

Continue to water and fertilize. Rinse white fly off the plants with plain water or soapy water, and pray for the cotton host plant to be plowed under soon.

A lot of the activity this month falls under the province of HOUSEKEEPING as we sit on the cusp of cooler weather:

Destroy all old stalks and leaves that shelter insects.

Prune dead stems and branches on all plants. (Do not prune to produce new growth except on mums)

Pinch back tips of all shoots.

Cut geraniums back if leggy and plant the cuttings in pots. (Add one teaspoon each of bone meal and fertilizer to the soil in a six inch pot and mix well.)

Buy tulip, hyacinth, and narcissus bulbs to refrigerate for about two months.

Fertilize chrysanthemums, amaryllis, and poinsettia.

Prepare beds for fall planting. Especially add compost or humus to beds around geraniums.

Divide Easter lilies every three years. Divide daylilies if crowded.

Some vegetables can be planted this month – tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans.

Plant calla lilies.

Plant nasturtium after first rains.

Keep beds and pots well watered. Plan to fertilize lawn at the end of the month.

Research trees and shrubs you can plant when the temperatures cool. (Cedar Elm will be featured later this month.)

From 1112 Down-to-Earth Garden Secrets (ISBN 0-89821-233-2)

p.27: “To keep cut flowers fresh for weeks, add any clear soda to your vase (7-Up, Sprite, ginger ale, etc.) Diet sodas, however, should not be used.

Fill the container with half soda and half water. It’s amazing how long the flowers last!”

p.168: “Cut the top off a plastic 2- or 3- liter soft drink bottle and use the bottom part as a scoop to fill your feeders.

Squeeze the soft plastic together to form a spout when filling the feeders.