Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Upper South

January, 2001
Regional Report

Alternative Plant Labels

If you have trouble with the information on plant labels fading, try putting the information on the computer and print it out on clear address labels, using a laser printer. These labels look especially attractive attached to the galvanized metal holders. For extra protection, spray with clear lacquer. These labels should last at least 5 years.

Grow Freesias

Indulge your midwinter need for flowers and fragrance by potting up some freesias. Corms can be purchased online or at garden centers. Plant corms in a pot filled with moistened potting soil, keep them in a cool, sunny location, and in 10 weeks you'll have flowers in shades of white, pink, purple, lavender, or yellow.

Build a Simple Cold Frame

Cold frames can be used to overwinter herbs, start seeds early, provide protection for early vegetable crops, or propagate tree and shrub cuttings. The simplest version is a 12- to 18-inch tall, 3-by-6-foot wide, homemade, bottomless wooden box with a pane of glass or plastic as a cover.

Build a Holding Bed

Once the ground can be worked, consider building a holding bed. You can grow rare or unusual plants in this protected environment for several years before adding them to the garden. It's also a good place to put "must have" plants that you don't have a site for yet. Raise the bed and amend it well with compost. Consider protecting tender plants with row covers or a cold frame as well.

Create Decorative Pots

Consider decorating the clay pots that will hold beautiful flowers on your deck or patio next year with acrylic paint. For something really special, try your hand at adding mosaics to pots. Check out your local craft store for supplies and instruction.


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