Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

February, 2001
Regional Report

Prepare Seed Potatoes

Set out seed potatoes in a warm windowsill to help them turn green and start sprouting. Green potatoes are too bitter to eat, but those bitter compounds help protect the planted pieces from pests. Before planting, cut the potatoes into pieces that have at least three eyes each.

Plant Parsley

Sow fresh parsley seeds outdoors, but don\'t expect to see seedlings for a few weeks. Parsley seeds germinate best after they have been rained on several times, because rain leaches out chemicals that keep the seeds from sprouting. Frilly curled varieties are pretty enough to be planted as edges to flowerbeds.

Prune Tree Fruits

The buds are swelling fast, so don't put off pruning your apple, nectarine, peach, or plum trees. If you can already see a little color in the buds, gather some prunings for forcing into bloom indoors. Pink peach blossoms are especially pretty when combined with bright yellow forsythia blooms.

Fertilize Daffodils

These sturdy spring bloomers will keep coming back year after year, but they will bloom better if you remember to feed them with a phosphorus-rich bulb fertilizer. Sprinkle it onto the soil around the plants now, while they're rapidly developing leaves and buds.

Thin Indoor Seedlings

If too many of the seeds you\'ve started indoors sprout, either clip out the extras with small, sharp scissors, pull them out roots and all, or separate and replant them into roomier quarters. Be careful not to touch the delicate main stems. Instead, use the seedling leaves as handles.


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