Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

December, 2011
Regional Report

Harvest Broccoli

Broccoli will keep producing after the main head is harvested. Side shoots will produce smaller heads but still significant production. So continue to harvest heads when the reach full size but before they start to become less dense or the buds begin to swell prior to flowering.

Plant Cool Season Greens in Succession

Spinach, lettuce, arugula, mache, kale, and other leafy cool-season greens can be planted in succession to keep the harvest coming and to hedge against cold damage wiping out a crop. Cover the plants during hard freezes and you can enjoy these greens throughout most winters in the Lower South.

Plant Pansies and Violas

Pansies and their smaller cousins violas like cold weather and in fact are happier when planted in late fall than early on when it is still quite hot. These blooming annuals are among our best options for cool season color. Choose colors to complement each other and remember that a mass of a single color or two often makes the most attractive planting, especially when viewed from a distance.

Mulch Fallow Garden Areas

Garden areas that will lay fallow over winter will benefit from a thick covering of leaves or other organic mulch. The surface materials will start to decompose where they contact the soil and will block out weed seeds and protect the soil from erosion and crusting during winter rains.

Tend Young Flower Seedlings

Sweet peas, poppies, larkspur, and other flowers that are seeded in fall and then bloom in the coming spring have germinated but are still are very small. Winter weeds can be quite competitive with these young plants. Do some careful weeding and light mulching to remove the weeds to help these spring bloomers do their best.


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