Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Coastal and Tropical South

February, 2006
Regional Report

Plant Potatoes

February is potato planting month in these parts, but catalogs don't begin shipping for weeks. Shopping locally is the very best option for potatoes, as it is for many plants. Look for southern varieties like 'La Soda'.

Rejuvenate Floppy Chives

You may think chives have died when they flop over, but think again. Like any clumping perennial, chives may need dividing and/or cutting back to rejuvenate them. Particularly in our warm regions, chives grow rapidly, so keep clipping and eating. Then dig up the clump, separate the plants, and start again.

Prune Butterfly Bush

If that butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) didn't live up to expectations last year, prune it hard now. Cut each main branch down to 18 to 24 inches tall, and remove all the debris from the area. As soon as a new sprout emerges, start fertilizing with a flower formula.

Clip or Shear Evergreens

To shear or to clip, that's the question when it comes to pruning evergreen shrubs. To lower a shrub's height and create a hedge, shearing can be a time saver. But clip to remove dead branches or to thin out top growth so sunlight can encourage new leaves on the lower parts of the shrub.

Give Seedlings Supplemental Light

As soon as seeds pop their stems out of the soil, check your light situation. Seedlings need a strong source of full spectrum light located just a few inches above their tips. Adjust the light as the seedlings grow to encourage stocky growth and healthy transplants.


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