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  • Upcoming Garden Events

    Sept. 30: The Nashville Herb Society presents Through the Garden Gate: A Glimpse of Edwardian England, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Cheekwood Botanic Hall. Celebrate the gardens, foods and flowers that delighted Downton Abby family and friends at the turn of the 20th century. The event begins with a hearty Edwardian breakfast, followed by three speakers: Marta McDowell on Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life; Geraldine A. Laufer on Tussie Mussie – Victorian art of expressing yourself in the language of flowers; and Terry White, The English Garden event florist . Registration includes breakfast, box lunch in the garden with music, English tea and cookies. To learn more or to register, visit www.herbsocietynashvlle.org.

    Tips & tasks – September

    Cut the dead tops of coneflowers, but leave enough for goldfinches to enjoy the seeds.

    Plant cool-weather vegetables for a fall crop: spinach, mustard and turnip greens, radishes, leaf lettuce.

    Start a new lawn of cool-season grass, such as fescue, or refurbish or repair establish lawns.

    Don’t let the soil of newly planted grass dry out. New grass needs about an inch of water per week.

    It’s still warm, so continue to water and weed garden beds as needed.

    Remove dead foliage, spent flowers and other garden debris; replenish mulch as needed.

    Continue to harvest produce, which may be getting a boost now from slightly cooler weather. Keep watering sage, rosemary and other perennial herbs so they’ll be in good shape to get through winter.

    Prepare to bring houseplants back indoors: remove dead leaves, scrub soil from the sides of the pots, treat for insects. Bring tropical plants in before nighttime temperatures dip to 55 degrees.

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It’s a great time for gardening in Middle Tennessee

Flowers are blooming, seedlings are sprouting: May is prime-time in the garden.

Coleus and mint make a colorful summer arrangement in a container outdoors.

Now that the weather is reliably warm, it’s finally time to plant those summer garden favorites that need a little heat: tomatoes, peppers, basil, dill, squash, okra.

Here are other ways to celebrate this first week of May in the garden:

* Plant perennials in new or existing garden beds. Water them well, and to make sure they get enough moisture to survive their first season, consider using soaker hoses throughout the beds, for easier, more efficient watering.

* Set out bedding plants: petunias, salvia, begonias, impatiens and other favorites.

* If you need to prune the azaleas, now is the time to do it. Use clean pruning shears to avoid spreading diseases. Cut branches back to a side branch that is growing in the desired direction. Cut close to the branch without leaving a stub. Info: azaleas.org.

* Some houseplants enjoy a summer vacation outdoors. Place them in a shady, protected spot to acclimate them to their temporary outdoor home.

* Plant bright flowers to bring butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden: Bee balm, salvia, cardinal flower and zinnias are easy-to-grow favorites.

At Turning Toward the Sun: A Garden Journal — The focus in on gardening in West End IB World School’s new outdoor classroom.

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