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ASK THE EXPERTS

Fall is planting season

POSTED: October 21, 2009 4:00 a.m.

This is a great time of the year to work with your landscape.

  

Cool weather signals the ideal time for planting and transplanting woody ornamentals and herbaceous perennials. It’s also time to plant fescue turfgrass, winter ryegrass, bulbs and pansies and to apply pre-emergence herbicides for winter weed control.

  

While you’re at it, don’t forget to add new mulch to ornamental planting to help protect them from the cold. It’s an exciting time in the Georgia landscape — a time to dig, divide and renew landscapes for next year.

  

Fall remains the best time to plant and transplant woody and herbaceous ornamentals.

  

By now energy produced by the leaves this summer has been funneled to the roots for winter growth.

  

Although the tops of plants are dormant in winter, the roots continue to grow throughout the winter, so when spring arrives, the plants are ready to explode with new growth.

  

Now is the time to dig and divide herbaceous perennials, including iris, daylilies, shasta daisies, rudbeckia, coneflower and peonies. The list goes on and on. 

  

Divisions and transplanting can be done now through January.

  

When transplanting most herbaceous plants, cut the foliage back by about two-thirds. Many herbaceous perennials are going to lose their top growth after the first hard frost anyway.

  

An ideal time to plant pansies is mid-October to the end of November.

  

Remove any diseased or insect-infested plant material from your garden; it may harbor overwintering stages of diseases and insect pests.

  

If you leave this plant material in your garden, you are leaving diseases and insects that will begin to reproduce again next spring and add to next year’s pest problem.

  

With the recent rains, outside watering is not needed.

  

However, if weather patterns change and the soil once again becomes dry, don’t forget to water during the winter months.

  

Remember, cold winds can dry moisture from landscape plants.

  

For more information on fall planting, contact the Dawson County Extension Office at (706) 265-2442.

  

Clark Beusse is the Dawson County extension agent. For more information, call (706) 265-2442.

 

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