Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

March, 2011
Regional Report

Prepare Beds for Warm Season Vegetables and Flowers

The last average frost date for various parts of the Lower South is not too far away. This is a good time to prepare the planting beds. Remove any weeds that may have begun to sprout in bare soil areas. Pull back the mulch to help the soil warm up faster. If you haven't added compost to the soil in the past year, mix an inch or two into the soil.

Check for Scale on Fruit Trees

Scale insects can quickly multiply to cause significant damage to fruit trees. Check branches for scale insects. Oil sprays are an effective control option but must be applied prior to the emergence of bloom and leaf buds since the sprays will burn the tender new growth.

Start Squash and Cucumber Transplants

These vegetables are commonly direct seeded into the garden, but you can get a head start by starting them as transplants in a greenhouse or bright window area indoors. The plants can be transplanted a few weeks later when outdoor temperatures are warmer and the danger of frost is past.

Control Weeds in Garden Beds

Cool season weeds are flourishing with the arrival of milder temperatures. They can quickly overtake flower beds and vegetable garden areas. Hoe or pull them out as early as possible when the are still small and easy to remove, and before they begin to compete with your plants.

Watch for Caterpillars on Cool Season Vegetables

Broccoli, kale, and other cool season crops are a favorite of several species of caterpillars. Check plants over periodically and spray with a product containing B.t. at first sign of caterpillars. Direct sprays upward from beneath the plant as some caterpillars when young feed on the lower leaf surface.


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