Weatherford Democrat

Local News

October 6, 2013

ASK A MASTER GARDENER: Now is a good time to divide daylilies for sharing, replanting

Here are this week’s gardening questions and answers, provided by Parker County Master Gardeners. To submit a question, send it to pcmgaquestions@gmail.com. For more information about Parker County Master Gardeners, or to become a member, call 817-598-6096 or visit www.pcmg-texas.org.

When should I divide my daylilies for replanting and sharing?

Daylily growers in our area recommend early to mid-October while the plant is still actively growing. If the plant has gone dormant, it should not be divided until spring. If the weather has cooled down by late September, then you may start a bit earlier. Daylilies need plenty of time to establish after transplanting before the first freeze.

What is a good ratio for organic material in my clay soil? Is it advisable to work peat moss into the mix? 

A good ratio of clay soil to fully decomposed organic material is roughly 50/50. This can include garden clippings if fully decomposed. When using peat moss, be careful not to add too much.

Putting peat moss in a bucket and filling it with water will show that peat moss rises to the top because it resists moisture. A one-time application of one inch of non-decomposing expanded shale will greatly improve the composition of clay soil by improving drainage and aeration. You should till 6 to 8 inches deep when amending soil.

What vegetables could I grow if I started from seeds this week?

It’s really too late for the typical fall garden, which should be planted around the first of August. However, there are a few things such as root crops and greens that could be planted now. Examples are turnips, radishes, leeks, onions and greens such as kale.

If you have not prepared your beds for next year’s garden, I suggest you spend this time getting ready by tilling the soil, adding compost and allowing it to lie fallow through the winter. Then it will be ready for planting early next year with things like beets, carrots, peas, potatoes, onions, chard, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach. All of these can be planted in February and March next year.

Fall Gardening Seminar

A Fall Landscape Gardening Seminar is Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Office, 604 North Main St., with the Parker County Master Gardeners will provide a 90-minute seminar.

A fee of $10 will cover the costs of handouts and supplies. To register, contact the Parker County Extension Office at 817-598-6168.

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