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Fertilizer dos and don'ts. As August arrives, some plants will benefit from an application of fertilizer. For other plants, it could do more harm than good.
Propagate roses. Roses can be propagated by layering as late as mid-August. Long, flexible canes are the easiest to propagate because they are easiest to bend into place. Use a clean knife to remove two thorns near the top of the stem and bend it toward the ground. Make a couple of small cuts into the bark between where the thorns were. This is called “wounding the cane.” Hold the wounded area in good contact with the soil with landscape pins and cover with soil, leaving the growing tip of the stem uncovered. It’s also a good idea to put a brick or stone over the covered and wounded cane to give it extra hold.
Next spring, you should see new growth emerge. Once you see new leaves on the rooted stem, carefully remove the entire stem from the parent plant, and recut the stem just beneath the new root mass. Now you are ready to plant your new rose bush.
Pests. See these on your pines? They're the Pine Sawfly larvae. Pick them off and drop them in a bucket of soapy water.
Bulbs. Select and pre-order your spring-blooming bulbs now while supplies are plentiful. Don’t put off today what will be gone tomorrow. The most unusual bulbs sell out fast. I can say this now because I’ve already put my in order. Try something fun such as the species tulip, Tulipa clusiana.
Cut flowers. Remember those zinnias you seeded in July? Seed more in August, and be sure to cut some to enjoy inside!
Guides to gardening in the Southeast