Lovebugs stink

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Did you know that lovebugs stink? Wash them off your car as soon as you can, they will ruin your paint job. The nasty things have decided to hang out on our deck. Getting in and out of the back door without letting the little critters inside requires speed and stealth — and a lot of sweeping up. Hope our resident lizards gobble them up.

Hate to tell you, but it’s time to get started on our September outdoor chores. Have you planned your bulb beds and ordered spring bulbs?

You need to get them in the ground right away, store in a cool location until you can get to it. Bulbs require lots of organic matter and good drainage. If you choose to store your bulbs in the refrigerator, keep them separate from fruits and vegetables. Make sure your kids and your husband know these are not food!

The spider lilies I intended to get in the ground last fall are blooming now, in the same pot I intended to dump them out of last year. According to Felder Rushing, these are also called hurricane lilies; talk about perfect timing.

This is a good time to plant roses, be sure to keep them watered well. The average date of the first freeze in Jones County is mid- to late-October, you should stop feeding your roses and perennials six weeks before then. This prevents tender new growth that could be damaged by freezing temperature.

Check out the shrubs in your yard and decide if its time for a change. Prune out branches that are dead, diseased or broken. Wait until late winter for major pruning, which stimulates new growth. Rake up and shred dead leaves (you can do this by running the mower over them) and use as mulch.

You still have time to set out a few summer annuals. My zinnias all bit the dust when it was so dry, wonder if it’s too late to find replacements?  If the freeze averages hold true, we should have six to eight weeks before a freeze. We all know the weather can be fickle, but the plants should be cheap now and it’s worth a try.

The squash seeds we planted last week have all germinated and we have nice green sprouts coming up. My husband had the foresight to plant them in mounds, so the rain didn’t wash any of them away. If Mother Nature cooperates, we should have zucchini, spaghetti and acorn squash before the first hard freeze. I’ll let you know what happens.

Protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites, they can be deadly! They will be worse than ever after all the rain!

Remember to compost — a rind is a terrible thing to waste!