Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Tropical South

February, 2004
Regional Report

Mulch Citrus Carefully

Because citrus are subject to root rot, mulch is not recommended, but I feel it beats weeds or severe drying out, especially for people who are away during April and May. If you do use mulch, keep it well away from the trunks, and pull it to the edge of the canopy with your hoe once the summer rains start.

Enjoy Citrus the Easiest Way

We slice our navel oranges in half from top to bottom, place each half face down on a plate, and then cut it into several half circle slices. They look nice, are easy to eat, and keep fresh as we eat them throughout the day. For tight-skinned tangerines, a spoon turned
inward helps.

Consider Citrus an Herb

The edible flowers are used as a garnish, the zest for both flavoring
and color, and other parts for medicines, perfumes, cosmetics, and cleaning products. The whole plant attracts both bees and butterflies.

Garden Within Deed Restrictions

Before you buy a home or property, read the deed restrictions
carefully. Most are reasonable and won't keep you from having everything you want in a lovely yard. If a vegetable garden is prohibited, just plant your vegetables among the flowers and
shrubs. I've heard of one place that forbids citrus trees altogether. Don't move there.

Get Tree Work Done

If you have trees that need to be removed, trimmed, or thinned, this is also a good time to make those decisions and hire professionals to do the job. Some tree experts offer discounts between now and March. Although this is the best time for tree work, most people
don't think of it now, and crews are not so busy.


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