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South Regional Reports

South: September To-Do List

‘Kim’s Knee High’ coneflower. Leave coneflower seedheads for finches to snack on. Photo: Michelle Gervais

Collect seeds. This is a great time of year to go into your garden and collect seeds you may want to sow this winter. Store in a paper bag until they are completely dry, and then transfer to a labeled letter or key envelope.

Leave seeds. If collecting seeds is not your thing, the birds will have you covered this month. Leave seedheads up on plants such as purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–9), and enjoy the show of finches feasting in your garden.

Don’t be quick to prune this month, as you might encourage new growth that could be damaged in cooler weather. Also, avoid pruning early spring-flowering trees and shrubs. They have set, or are setting, their flower buds for next year.

Get your spring-flowering bulb order in this month. Store the bulbs in a cool, dry place if you cannot plant them right away. Every bulb type is different, so get some advice from your local university affiliated extension office or a reputable independent garden center on when to plant. Find out more about planting bulbs here.

‘Dordogne’ tulip (Tulipa ‘Dordogne’, Zones 3–8). Order your tulips and other spring-blooming bulbs now. Photo: Diana Koehm

Andy Pulte is a faculty member in the Plant Sciences department at the University of Tennessee.

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