Hot Days In My Garden

Germinated seedlings of fall vegetables and flowers

Ginger lily broken stem with root section

Coneflower seedlings transplanted

Selaginella clumps dug and potted

As hot as the weather is, I am still gardening to get ready for fall. Last week I seeded marigolds, broccoli, and cabbage for my fall garden to eventually pot up and plant in the garden in early September. The marigold will go into containers that I have pulled out tired annuals, and of course the vegetable are for our fall garden. If you plan to grow cole crops from seeds, and grow in pot to plant in the garden later, now is the time to seed them.
Also I am collecting stray seedlings like coneflowers from my garden and potting them up to help develop strong root systems for late fall plantings. Even though many folks would wait, I just received a number of dug clumps of selaginella for a project I am helping with at the Botanical Gardens a couple of week ago, and they are doing fine. I would not attempt this with a plant that grows in full sun.
While my ginger lilies are coming into bloom, several stems fell over and instead of just cutting them off I pull them up with a bit of root, cut the stem off, planted in good potting soil and as you can see in less than two weeks a new shoot is appearing. They will make fine gifts for friends as well as the coneflower seedlings.
Now if you have bearded iris or daylilies that need dividing, it is certainly okay to divide them now. Be sure to cut the foliage of the iris in a fan shape close to the rhizome and make sure the roots of the rhizomes are covered but not the rhizomes. Mulch the rhizomes well. As for daylilies, dig, divide, and plant back at the same level they came out of the ground.
Regardless of whether it is dividing lilies, digging clumps of shade loving plants, transplanting or seeding plants, watering is a must. Keep all these plants I have discussed above moist until the weather cools. Other than the iris and daylilies, I have every thing else in high filtered shade to protect them from the hot summer sun.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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