Fall a good time to add new shrubs, perennials

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With signs of fall approaching, there are many jobs still to be done at this time of year. Start by planting new perennials in the garden to get them established so they will have a nice big root system by springtime.

It is also a good time to plant any new shrubs you might want to add to the landscape, as they will be developing a root system over the winter months.

You might consider applying a new layer of mulch to your landscape beds to refresh them for the fall and winter. Remove any weeds, trees and vines from the beds at the same time.

Keep mowing the lawn at the same height you mowed this summer. Do not drop the mower to pick up leaves, as this can weaken the lawn and cause winter damage later. It also allows weeds more areas to germinate and make the lawn look rough.

We will be coming up to the time to apply herbicide to control winter weeds and any summer weeds that are still hanging around. Make sure the daytime temperatures are below 82 degrees before applying the herbicides so you do not damage the lawn.

I have noticed some sod webworm moths (they are a light brown in color) flying above the blades of grass. They are looking for places to lay their eggs, which hatch into worms that eat the blades of your grass down in small circular patches. Consider applying an insecticide to control them and any mole crickets that might be around.

One thing I noticed this spring was that azaleas didn't have many blooms on the top of the plant but had nice blooms on the sides. This was caused by late pruning of the azaleas at this time of year so they look even.

However, this results in cutting off the bloom buds that have already formed in late summer. If you want a nice plant full of blooms, do not prune the azaleas at this time of year.

It is also time to apply an insecticide to your plants to reduce any scale insects that can affect plants like hollies, camellias and sasanquas. At the same time, it will make sure any other insects that bother shrubs are killed.

Give your roses their last fertilization for the year and remove any broken or dead limbs. This will allow roses to keep blooming for many more months.

Edward Poenicke is a retired Chatham County extension agent. This article is provided in collaboration with Lawn Doctor of Beaufort County.

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