Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern Coasts

January, 2004
Regional Report

Prune Muscadines and Wisteria

Cut down the perpendicular shoots that spring from the main branches of muscadines and wisteria vines to get more flowers and fruit. Leave about 2 inches on each spur, then head back the long major vines if they have overgrown the trellis. Tie vines with jute, not plastic twine.

Pruning Fruit Trees

Take that fig tree down by as much as one third if it's overgrown. Prune peaches, prunes, and other fruit trees to open their canopies to more sunlight and remove weak or broken branches. Evergreen fruit trees like feijoa and guava can be trimmed to shape, but they don't require heavy pruning.

Say Goodbye to Brown Lantanas

Once lantana leaves have turned brown or even bronze, it's time to cut them down to make room for new plants. This wonderful, drought-tolerant plant fills many garden needs, but it's not a good candidate for compost ? too woody and too likely to harbor spider mites.

Making a Simple Path

To mark a simple path around or across a garden bed, start with the lawn mower. Mow very close to the ground, then scrape off any remaining plant material growing where you want to walk. Cover with 2 inches of sand, wet it and tamp it down, then add a layer of crushed gravel or slag.

Move Spider Lilies

While the leaves are up and easy to find, move spider lilies (Lycoris radiata). Dig up the bulbs in clumps, using a shovel or digging fork (depending on how loose the soil is). Replant in groups about 4 inches in diameter, and space the clumps 4 inches apart. Fertilize once.


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