Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

March, 2009
Regional Report

Try Melon Transplants

Cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelons, and squash are usually direct seeded into the garden. For a head start on the season you can start them indoors as transplants a couple of weeks ahead of their normal outdoor planting dates. Just don't let them stay too long in the confines of a seedling container or they will be stunted and not perform as well.

Move Houseplants Outta the House

After a long winter indoors our houseplants could use a rejuvenating period with a little more light. Start moving those that prefer higher light levels to a very shady outdoor location during the warmer part of the day. Gradually increase their exposure over a few weeks until they can stay outside.

Prepare Azaleas for Next Year

Azaleas will complete their spring blooming season soon. After the blooms fade any shaping or pruning can be done. Remove long gangly shoots and give the bush a light feeding with a fertilizer for acid loving plants. They will resume growth and by mid summer be ready to set buds for next year's blooms.

Plant Summer Bulbs

Bulbs and corms of summer-blooming perennials can still go into the landscape. Ginger, allium, rain lily, canna, daylily and society garlic can all add beauty to the landscape and will return year after year to prove they are a good investment.

Choose Caladiums Early

Caladiums make great summer color for shady southern areas. They come in many shades of white, pink, red, and green, brightening otherwise drab shady areas of the landscape. For best selection purchase caladium tubers now for planting in late April and early May when the soil temperature has reached at least 70 degrees F.


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