Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Upper South

May, 2001
Regional Report

Check Hardiness Zones

When buying trees, shrubs, and perennials, be sure to check the USDA hardiness zones. If there are no zones listed on the plant identification tag or description, write down the botanical plant name and check reference books before buying.

Transplanting Success

It's now safe to plant tender annual and vegetable transplants such as geraniums and tomatoes. Here are some tips for success. Plant on a cloudy day or in late afternoon. If the weather is especially hot, shade the transplants with boxes or newspaper cones. Water the bottom of the hole before planting, then water again after planting.

Plant Dahlias

Carefully divide overwintered dahlia clumps, and throw away pieces of dahlias tubers with broken necks: they won't grow. Whether planting newly purchased or saved dahlias, a single tuber is sufficient for each location. Plant tubers 4-inches deep. For tall-growing types, insert stakes at least one foot into the ground. Use sturdy stakes of at least one inch diameter and 5 to 6 feet long.

Harvest Rhubarb

Harvest rhubarb stems when stalks are 12- to- 18 inches long. Always leave at least one-third of the leaves to rejuvenate the crown and roots. For established plants, harvest for 8 to 10 weeks or until stalks become thin. Remove seed stalks as they form. After the main harvest period, fertilize plants with several shovelfuls of well-rotted manure and mulch.

Plant Pole Beans

Plant pole beans now while the soil is warm. Pole beans have a number of advantages over bush beans. You can get much larger yields in a smaller space, and pole beans produce over a much longer period, too. Bush beans are good if you want most of your crop all at once for freezing or canning. Provide a sturdy trellis or teepee to support your pole beans.


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