Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

October, 2004
Regional Report

Just Say \"No\" To Overseeding The Lawn

Although a common practice in the south, overseeding a lawn with ryegrass is not recommended. The ryegrass competes with our warm-season turf grasses during winter and the spring transition period. Overseeded lawns often decline over time, thinning out and giving way to weed invasions. An overseeded lawn also must be mowed and watered during the cool season.

Store Tulip and Hyacinth Bulbs for Midwinter Planting

Purchase bulbs of tulips and hyacinths now while selection is still good. Then store them in the lower part of the refrigerator for six to eight weeks. Don't leave bulbs in airtight plastic bags during refrigerator storage or store them with apples, which give off ethylene gas that can damage the bulbs. Plant these bulbs in mid to late December.

Plant Pansies and Violas

In these cooler days and nights, pansies and violas will really take off and thrive. Water them at planting time with a liquid fertilizer at the lowest label rate to get them off to a good start. Then fertilize them lightly every month or so to keep them vigorous and blooming their best.

Plant Strawberries

Plant strawberries this month or in early November. The plants will grow all winter and be ready for March, April and May harvests. Work some compost into the soil, and build raised beds for optimum drainage. Here in the south, strawberries are best grown as an overwintering annual rather than as a perennial.

Force Bulbs for Indoor Beauty

Plant bulbs indoors in a tray of pebbles or in one of the special bulb glasses. This is known as "forcing." The bulbs will grow and bloom several weeks later to brighten up an otherwise dreary winter day. Paper whites, hyacinths and amaryllis are among the best bulbs for forcing indoors.


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