Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

January, 2004
Regional Report

Topdress Landscape Beds

Winter is a good time to add compost or decomposed manure as a surface mulch around trees and shrubs. By the time spring rains arrive, these materials will be in place and ready to release nutrients to plant roots.

Give Blooms a Boost

Keep pansies, violas, stocks, and other winter flowers blooming profusely by fertilizing every 4 to 6 weeks. Sprinkle a cup of a balanced fertilizer per 50 square feet of bed, and scratch it into the soil surface, or use a liquid feed according to the label.

Prepare Soil Before You Plant

There's no substitute for good soil preparation. Compost is a wonderful thing ? use it! Mix several inches of compost into the soil when preparing beds. In much of the southeast, raised beds are a good idea as spring usually brings a deluge of rain.

Investigate Before Purchasing Trees and Shrubs

January and February are prime planting months for trees and shrubs. Before purchasing plants, do some research into the best-adapted varieties for your area. These plants are long-term investments, and will impact your home\'s beauty and value for years to come. Your County Extension Office can assist you with recommendations of adapted plants.

Control Scale Infestations

Spray fruit trees, camellias, and other plants with scale infestations now. Dormant oil mixed according to label instructions will help smother and kill the scale insects. Complete coverage of all surfaces of the plant is critical for good control. Avoid oil sprays within a day or two of a freeze.


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