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Extension advice: Is that a weed? Prep landscapes now for winter
Ashley Ho0pers ext agent
Ashley Hoopers is UGA Extension agent for Liberty County - photo by File photo

The calendar is telling us that fall is here, though the sweat on my brow says differently.

No matter what the temperature says, the calendar is right about when to start applying herbicides. Now is time to apply herbicides to your lawn for control of winter

annual weeds, like chickweed, henbit and bluegrass, that germinate in turf during the cooler weather.

Check herbicide labels before using, and select an appropriate chemical for the types of weeds and variety of grass in your yard.

When landscaping for energy efficiency, choose evergreens for north and northwest sides of the house where they will block winter winds without limiting winter sun.

Block early morning and late afternoon sun by planting deciduous trees to east and west of the house, including the southeast and southwest corners.

Don’t plant shade trees to the direct south of the house – the summer sun is so high in the sky it will shine onto the house over all but the tallest trees, and the trees would block cooling, southerly breezes.

Don‘t let the fall pass you by with only the changing colors of the trees to enjoy! Look for fall annuals that are tolerant of cooler temperatures.

Some suggestions are snapdragon, calendula, pansy, flowering cabbage and kale, stock, viola, dusty miller and poppy.

Give perennials and woody ornamentals a fall checkup by looking for weak or diseased plants. Eliminate plants that might infect or take energy from neighboring plants.

To minimize the occurrence of black spot on roses, prune and remove infected areas. Be sure to destroy the clippings, as the disease will carry over from year to year.

Allow plants to finish the summer growth cycle in a normal manner. Never encourage growth with heavy applications of fertilizer or excessive pruning at this time as plants will quickly delay their hardening process that has already begun in anticipation of the winter months ahead. New growth can easily be injured by an early freeze.

As you select your flowering bulbs to plant this fall, keep in mind that larger caliber bulbs give big, showy displays, but cost more. Smaller caliber bulbs are usually less expensive with a smaller show, but are great for brightening nooks and crannies in your yard.Outdoor ferns should be planted in early fall for best results. To have a healthy fern garden, add several inches of leaf mold or peat to the soil before planting.

Start taking cuttings of your annual plants to bring indoors and carry through the winter. Geranium, coleus, fuchsia and other plants do best when stem cuttings are rooted and kept in pots indoors through the winter. Be sure to place pots where they receive plenty of light.

This is a good time to put your cold frames in good working order. Double check hinges and fittings to make sure they are ready for the impending cold temperatures.

A roll of floating row cover is a good investment for your garden. Use it to protect plants from light frosts and insects.

If you have questions about anything you see around your home, contact the Bryan County Extension Service office at 912-653-2231 or email

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