Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Coastal and Tropical South

February, 2005
Regional Report

Keeping a Lawn

Some of the plants we know as lawn weeds are lovely plants in their own world, but not in the turf. When the non-grass plants outnumber the grass, remove the violets, henbits, and even clover to shaded garden troublespots. Of course, this is easier said than done.

Encourage Potato Futures

About two weeks after planting, potatoes will begin to send up strong shoots. Put a pile of leaves mixed with compost near the potato patch; you'll need it to keep them growing. As the potato shoots grow, pull leaves up around them. Leave only tops showing, for more 'taters underneath.

Last Chance to Plant Greens

Whether it's mustard or turnip greens, swiss chard, leaf lettuce, or mesclun mixes, now's the last possible time to plant greens this spring. Work up an area 3 inches deep, add some compost or leaf mold, and scatter the seeds evenly. Cover lightly with soil and thin to 3 inches apart.

Make More Violets

African violets' hairy leaves have all it takes to make new plants. Select a large leaf, then cut it off near its base. Stick the leaf's stem into a small container of potting soil. Keep moist, but not wet; look for little plantlets at the base of the leaf in a few weeks.

Help Plants Climb Up

Popular for years, totem poles were pressed fiber sticks to support anything that vines. Ivy-leaved philodendron still needs somewhere to climb, so encourage it to grow up on poles, rings, or posts. The leaves on these vines will be larger the higher they climb, as they are in native rainforests.


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