Photo: Ralph Lee Anderson
Grow Now: Spider Lillies
The scarlet blooms of spider lilies (Lycoris radiata) appear, as if by magic, after the rainy days in late summer and early fall. With no foliage and no warning, spiderlike clusters of flowers spring up on 18-inch stems. After they bloom, they develop silver-centered, grassy foliage that lasts through winter and into spring. These Southern pass-alongs are grown from bulbs. They thrive on neglect, bloom in sun or shade, and will multiply in your garden. Plant in well-drained soil, and divide every four or five years in late spring as the foliage begins to turn yellow and wither.
Buy Now: Moth Orchids
For six weeks of more of long-lasting color inside, buy moth orchids. Blooms can come in purple, white, yellow, or pink, and even spots or stripes. You can also find miniature types. They prefer bright, indirect light. Water when the moss or bark is slightly dry to the touch. For easy feeding, try Dynamite Orchids & Bromeliads (10-10-17) slow-release plant food. Visit orchids.com for flowers that can be delivered right to your door!
September 22 marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. It's time to set out this season's annuals, create new containers, buy bulbs, and plant trees and shrubs. Most important, just be sure to get outside and enjoy your garden and the cooler days ahead.
In the Middle, Lower, and Coastal South, begin planting your fall veggies. Set out transplants of lettuce, collards, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, arugula, and Swiss chard. Planting on a budget? Sow seeds of lettuce, arugula, collards, beets, and radishes. No room? Plant them in pots!
Keep this tasty herb in full production by pinching flowers to increase the growth of new leaves.
These sweet Southern grapes are the perfect fruit for your backyard. Plant vines this fall on a simple trellis. Start with these two types, planted together. 'Darlene' (female) is bronze and produces large fruit. 'Nesbitt' (self-pollinating) is a black grape with great flavor.