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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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When daylilies’ days are over

I have planted daylilies for the first time. They are no longer blooming, but I don’t know what to do next. Should I cut the dead stalks and the leaves? When is the best time to do that?
Will Coltharp, the president of the Middle Tennessee Daylily Society, says they often get questions about what to do with those dead stalks, called scapes. “Personally, I let the scapes dry naturally on the plant, and only when they detach easily from the plant after a gentle tug do I take them off the plant,” he says. Pulling them off before they are ready to detach themselves risks damage to the crown of the plant.
If the dried scapes bother you, you could cut the top half off to make the bed look neater, “but that would be an awful lot of work if you have many daylilies,” he says. Leave the leaves alone.
Will says that one of the great things about daylilies is that they don’t require much care. Adequate water to keep their roots strong as they go into winter is about all they need right now.
If you get more into growing daylilies and want to meet some like-minded people, check out the Middle Tennessee Daylily Society.

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