Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

April, 2009
Regional Report

Thin Fruit Trees

If you are fortunate enough to have fruit trees that made it through any spring frosts and have set fruit, now is a good time to start thinning the fruit. Remove all but one apple or pear per bloom cluster. Thin plums to every 4 inches along the branch and peaches/nectarines to every 6 inches. Don't thin persimmons as they will thin themselves.

Provide Camellias Spring Care

Give all types of camellias a boost by fertilizing with a product for acid-loving plants. Cottonseed meal or a product designed for acid-loving plants is a good choice. Any pruning that needs to be done should be completed soon so the plants have plenty of time to grow and set buds for next year. Apply a few inches of mulch around the roots to hold moisture and deter weeds.

Plant Warm-Season Vegetables

The average last frost date has passed in most of the Lower south and so the warm-season vegetable garden is in full swing. Tomatoes, beans, squash, cucumbers, and Swiss chard can all go in these next few weeks. Then follow a couple of weeks later with peppers and eggplant.

Get Mower in Top Condition

Mowing season is about to be upon us. This is a good time to have your mower tuned up by a good small engine repair shop. The blade should be sharpened for easier operation and a cleaner cut. Replace plugs and check filters. If your mower is not a mulching model inquire as to what accessories may be available to convert it over.

Plant Warm-Season Bedding Plants

Now is a good time to set out transplants of warm-season bedding plants for early color in the landscape. Some great choices include ageratum, cockscomb, coreopsis, cosmos, cleome, marigold, nasturtium, petunia, phlox, portulaca, salvia, sweet alyssum, sunflower, and zinnia.


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