Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Coastal and Tropical South

September, 2006
Regional Report

Grow Your Own Safe Spinach

Recently bagged and fresh spinach were pulled from the shelves due to an outbreak of E. coli bacteria traced to it. So why not grow your own? Soak spinach seed for a few hours in warm water before planting. Water with a solution of crushed eggshells soaked in warm water.

Make Quick And Easy Compost

When fallen leaves almost cover the lawn, mow it with the bagger attached. This one action will chop and collect both brown matter (leaves) and green (grass). Dump the bag in a pile when full and leave it alone. By spring, you'll have compost.

Reinvigorate Rosemary

Summer heat can take its toll on rosemary, so rejuvenate it now. Leave any new shoots alone, but thin the older, woodier ones. Cut out one third of them, and cut the rest back by half. Harvest whatever leaves you can, strip the rest and soak the stems for grilling.

Deciphering Bulb Packages

Oh, how confusing these common names can be! When shopping, look for pictures or scientific names to be sure what's in that natural package of joy. Spider lily can mean the red spider (Lycoris) that blooms in fall, or the swamp white spider lily (Hymenocallis) known for its spring flowers.

Plant a Monkey Grass Border

For the timeless look of a graceful green border, go for good old monkey grass. Plant or transplant clumps now to line a bed or soften the sidewalk leading to your front door. Cut a shallow, narrow trench along the edge and plant the clumps 2 inches apart on its top.


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