Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

March, 2006
Regional Report

Start Seeds

Determine your last frost date, then count backwards to figure out when to start seeds. For example, tomato seeds should be started indoors about six weeks before your average last frost. If the last frost is around May 1, you'll want to start tomato seeds in mid March.

Plant a Living Privacy Fence

Choose dense evergreen shrubs for the best screen between you and the street, your neighbors, or whatever else you want to shield yourself from. Consider the site and your needs, then research what tree or shrub varieties best suit your purposes. Since the plants may take several years to reach a size that offers privacy, in the meantime consider erecting a temporary fence and growing annual vines on it.

Start Weeding Now

Pulling weeds now saves work later. Perennial weeds are at their most vulnerable in spring, having used up some of their roots' stored carbohydrate reserves to make it through the winter and sprout. Pulling them now keeps them from photosynthesizing and replenishing their energy store.

Look Up When Choosing Trees

When considering new trees for your yard, be sure to look up. If the site is underneath or near power or telephone lines, choose a tree whose maximum size will allow it to fit under the wires. There are plenty of options, and there's no point in planting a vigorous tree and then having to prune it yearly to keep it in bounds.

Decide What Flowers to Start From Seed

Petunias, snapdragons, and pansies take a long time to reach blooming size, so you either have to start them in January or purchase them as transplants. Zinnias, marigolds, and cosmos, on the other hand, are all easy to start from seed about six weeks before planting outdoors, so if you're inclined to do so, now's the time to get started.


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