Plants, bulbs will be sold to cure childhood cancer

Garden Gnome

I wanted to whine about how hot it’s been and the tattered shape of my flower beds, but I heard from Kris Gordon recently and I think I should keep all whining to myself.


Kris asked only for an announcement of the start of Press On for the Holidays, a fundraising campaign for Press On to Cure Childhood Cancer. Through the generous support of folks like you, last year the group sold 1,130 pots of paperwhites and amaryllis bulbs, raising $15,400 for childhood cancer research.

Press On was created in June 2007 by Augusta natives Erin and Stephen Chance, whose son, Patrick, was diagnosed at the age of 3 with stage IV neuroblastoma. Tara and Turner Simkins joined forces after their son, Brennan, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia just before his 7th birthday.

I can’t think of a better cause to support.

The group’s goal is to sell 1,500 pots this year. The paperwhites and amaryllis bulbs are only $20 and $25, respectively. Each ceramic cache pot will be wrapped and ribboned and could ease the Christmas shopping.

The amaryllis can be planted outside in the spring, and the next year it will bloom like mad.

Orders are being taken through Oct. 26. Delivery will be mid- to late-November. Contact Kris Gordon at (706) 863-7405, or


THE START OF a new month means a new checklist of chores:

On those afternoons when it’s still too darn hot to slave away in the garden, you can still be in gardening mode by checking out what’s new in spring bulbs. You can place your order and the company will ship when it’s time to plant. You can also find bulbs at our local nurseries soon. If you want to buy in advance, talk to owners or employees about proper storage.

Back off of the fertilizer on all but annuals now. Plants would love a nice topping of compost, though. Spread an inch or two in the beds.

It’s still too early to divide and transplant most perennials (except irises and daylilies), but you can get your plan together by going through the flower beds to see which plants are crowded. Plot where you want to move plants after division.

If you haven’t done a soil test in two to three years, this is a perfect time to do so. Your local extension office can take your samples and provide a comprehensive analysis for a small fee.

Consider a fall garden. Add lettuce, beets, carrots, Chinese vegetables such as bok choy, arugula and radishes. Start with seeds indoors or in the garden. If you start outside, give the seeds some protection from the broiling sun and keep them moist.

This is a good time to start collecting seeds from annuals and perennials. Let them dry, separate seeds, package them in a container that is perfectly dry and store in the refrigerator.

It’s also a good time to take cuttings from your favorite annuals. You can overwinter them inside and have a jump start in the spring.

While you have to wait for cooler temperatures to plant spring bulbs, you can still plant those that bloom in the fall, and you can plant lilies now.

Shrubs and trees should only be pruned to remove dead or diseased branches.

Thanks for good advise from Month-By-Month Gardening in Georgia by Walter Reeves and Erica Glasener, The Augusta Gardening Calendar by Sid Mullis, Richmond County’s cooperative extension coordinator, and a very interesting article by Barbara Pleasant in Georgia Gardening magazine.


This week’s weed is the kind that if you see one, you’ll see dozens. The reason for this is on the undersides of the leaves – tons of seeds. If you guessed Carolina cherry in last week’s contest, and answered correctly in the prior week’s, you are a contender for Backyard Harvest, a year-round guide to growing fruits and vegetables by Jo Whittingham. We’ll let you know when we have a single winner.


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