Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

February, 2005
Regional Report

Last Call for Bare-Root Planting

If you\'re planning to plant any fruiting or ornamental shrubs or trees, do so soon. We are at the very end of bare-root season, and although there\'s a larger window of time for planting bare-root container plants, the sooner you get them in, the better. Hot weather will be here before you know it.

Prune Roses

Roses that bloom throughout the growing season should be periodically pruned, and be sure to use the technique appropriate to the particular type of rose. Delay pruning those that only bloom in spring until they finish blooming. This includes most climbers.

Oil Your Pests

The best time to apply dormant oil is late winter just before the emergence of spring growth. Dormant oil will control scale and many insect eggs. Coverage is critical, so make sure to thoroughly cover all sides of the trunk and branches. Don\'t apply oil within 24 hours of a freeze.

Don't Overwater Houseplants

More houseplants are killed by soggy soil conditions than by any other factor. Feel the soil just below the surface, and if it is moist, don't water. A sharpened pencil stuck into the growing mix makes a good watering gauge. If it comes out clean, the growing mix is dry; if it comes out with soil sticking to the sharpened surface, the mix is moist.

Trim Ornamental Grasses

Clumping ornamental grasses like maiden grass, pampas grass, fountain grass, and others can become unsightly when old, dead growth is left year after year. Cut them back to a foot or so in height and the new growth will soon emerge to fill in and create a fresh, attractive new plant this spring.


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