This is a transitional time, with the temperatures getting slightly cooler in the evening, but still warm during the day. It’s time for our thoughts to turn to autumn garden chores.
Rain will likely be off and on, so keep watering at least weekly to keep flowers doing well, and to keep newly planted shrubs going.
It’s also a good time to put out a new layer of mulch on our shrub and flower beds to dress them up and redefine their lines. As you put out the mulch, remove any weeds like grasses, trees or vines that might be present.
Now is the time to plant any new shrubs into the yard, as the plant will not be fighting heat and roots will keep growing as long as the soil temperature stays above 45 degrees.
The plants will still need to be watered, but they are not trying to grow top growth as well as root growth. They will be developing new root growth all winter long as the soil temperatures usually stay above 40 degrees. Thus, they will be ready with a well-established root system next year to develop new growth and flowers.
It is time to plant our fall and winter flowers and bulbs like snapdragons, calendulas, poppies, flowering cabbage and kale and any perennials you might want to add.
Wait for early November to plant pansies and violas because they like cooler temperatures. This way, they will not stretch due to heat and collapse in December.
If you have camellias, sasanquas or hollies you might have tea scale, which is a white and red mass on the bottom of the leaves, with the top of the leaves looking yellow.
If you do have this, treat the problem by spraying or applying a systemic insecticide.
Now is a good time to do a soil test of your yard to check the pH of the soil to determine if you need to add lime. If you do need to add lime, do so at this time as it takes several months to start correcting the soil’s pH.
As long as the temperatures are below 82 degrees, you should be able to do weed control in the lawn to remove any leftover summer weeds and any winter weeds that have germinated.
Edward Poenicke is a retired Chatham County extension agent. This article is provided in collaboration with Lawn Doctor of Beaufort County.