Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Coastal and Tropical South

December, 2007
Regional Report

Painting Plant Materials

When painting complicated plant forms like hydrangea and grass flowers, use spray paint and always work outdoors. Make a cardboard box backdrop and hold each piece in it; spray in short bursts for best coverage and the least drips. Use clothespins to clip the stems onto the cardboard to dry.

Battling Moles

Poison pellets can attract other small mammals, traps create a disposal issue, and chasing moles while wielding a hatchet is impractical and risky. There's no easy solution to getting rid of moles. Gardeners can choose to forego a lawn altogether, or control the food source that often attracts moles by applying organic controls, such as beneficial nematodes, to the lawn.

Controlling Scale on Camellias

Japonica and sasanqua camellias can be pruned as flowers fade to stimulate new growth and promote recovery from insect pests. Temperatures are getting cooler, allowing use of refined oil sprays to control scale insects on the shrubs. By smothering any live scale now, you prevent further damage and population surges later.

Plant Veggie Seeds

Whether you're harvesting the first crops of the fall or have just thought of growing vegetables, it's time to plant many favorites from seed directly in the garden. Beets, carrots, and radishes grow rapidly in well-drained soils. Leave room between patches of the root crops for lettuce and swiss chard.

Cover Tropicals in the Garden

Most plants in our gardens can survive some cold weather, but when it gets freezing for several hours, flowers and tender tropicals may be damaged. Hauling plants indoors is a hassle, but greenhouses can be expensive. Cover plants overnight with cotton or polyester sheets but never plastic shower curtains.


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