36 August 26, 2008

I would guess that we can say goodbye to August. Never mind that the summer has gone by quickly, the whole year is going by quickly.

Late August and early September is the time to divide many of your perennials. As a general rule of thumb, if the perennial blooms in early spring, you should be able to divide the plant now. When you are dividing your perennials, you need to keep in mind that most perennials have specific soil requirements. Some grow best in a sandy soil, some need a soil high in organic matter, some need a moist soil etc. If the plant is growing well in your garden, than you need to have the same soil conditions in the new home for your divided plant. When you put your perennials into the ground, they will need to develop a strong root system before winter sets in. You can help your plants to do this by using a plant starter fertilizer at the time you put your plants into the ground. The fertilizer is mixed with water and is used to water the plant ” in ” when you have put the plant into the ground.

If you have bearded iris in your garden, now is the time to divide them. Bearded iris tend to grow poorly if you do not divide them every 3 years or so. When you dig up the iris, it is the fans of leaves and roots that are along the outside edge of the bed that you should use to plant back in your garden. The older roots are often infected with borers that eat their way through the roots. If you see small holes in the side of the rhizome ( which is the name for that root) you should throw out that part of the plant. Even if the borer has left the root, the iris growing from that root wouldn’t amount to much in your garden. When you set the root back into the garden, make sure that you only plant the root about half way into the soil. Plant starter fertilizer should also be used to get the rhizome to root faster.

September is also the time to fix up your lawn. The warm soil temperatures and the moisture that is in the soil will make this September an ideal time to patch up or start a new lawn. More on that subject next week.

Well, that’s all for this week. Have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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