With the onset of fall, we need to start planting our winter flowering plants, like snapdragons, chrysanthemums, marigolds, calendulas, poppies, fall perennials, dianthus, Lycoris, zinnias, phlox and blue salvia.
If you are considering planting pansies or violas, wait until late October or early November, when it really cools off. This will allow these plants to develop a good root system.
Remove dead flowers and vegetable plants and consider planting some new vegetables for the fall. Plant turnips, collards, mustard, broccoli, radishes, carrots, beets, and green onions, tomato plants and green beans.
Rework flowerbeds before planting for the fall and add a new light layer of mulch on your shrub and flowerbeds. Make sure you remove any weeds, small trees and vines and that you edge beds before putting new mulch down.
Do not prune azaleas and other blooming shrubs at this time as you could lose flower blooms on early spring-blooming plants.
On your lawn, continue mowing at the proper height, even though leaves might be falling and you want to get them all up. Also, watch for mole cricket activity, because these pests are getting to be full-grown adults.
Signs include a soft spongy turf, odd dying areas of turf, and small piles of soil that break apart when you touch them. You can even see tunnels the size of a pencil in thinned areas of turf.
If you see mounds of soil that are three to four inches above the ground, this indicates moles who are feeding on grubs and earthworms most of the time.
Another common problem at this time of year is brown patch disease, especially with a lot of rain, and warm days and cool nights causing a lot of dew. Brown patch starts out as a small circular spot in the lawn and spreads outward, killing the grass.
If you see either problem make sure you treat with the proper material.
With the temperatures getting in the low 80s or high 70s, now is a good time to clean up any summer weeds you have been fighting and help control the germination of winter weeds.
If you over-seed your lawn (but you do not have to) with rye grass, do so at four pounds per 1,000 square feet so you do not hinder the grass from greening up next spring or create conditions for brown patch to occur over the winter.
Edward Poenicke is a retired Chatham County extension agent. This article is provided in collaboration with Lawn Doctor of Beaufort County.