Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

November, 2003
Regional Report

Force Bulbs to Brighten Winter Days

Start bulbs for indoor forcing. Paperwhites and amaryllis are among the easiest and are readily available this time of year. A shallow dish with bulbs started for forcing makes a great gift for friends and neighbors. Keep them in a bright location for best results.

Reduce Fertilizer for Indoor Plants

The low light and cooler temperatures of winter mean your houseplants will need less nutrition to grow well. Unless plants are in a very well-lighted atrium or very bright window, you can probably cut back fertilizing by half. Also watch soil moisture, as it is easy to overwater during the winter months.

Prepare Soil Now for the Spring Garden

Prepare soil for spring planting now while the soil is still workable. In spring it is often too rainy to get in and start an early garden. Work in a few inches of compost and build raised planting beds for better drainage and faster warm-up in spring.

Stagger Lettuce Plantings

Plant lettuce in small sections every two weeks to keep you in fresh produce all winter. When a freeze threatens, cover tender seedlings with a row cover fabric. Fertilize in light, frequent doses to keep the plants vigorous.

Harvest Tomatoes and Peppers Before First Fall Frost

Pick tomatoes and peppers prior to the first frost. Peppers can be eaten immature, even if very small. Tomato fruit reach a mature green stage from which they will continue to ripen indoors on the kitchen counter. Less mature green fruit won't ripen.


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