Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

March, 2003
Regional Report

Seed Tomatoes and Peppers

There is still time to start seeds of tomatoes and pepper varieties from seed indoors under lights. Heirlooms including 'Cherokee Purple' tomato are worth the trouble of growing from seed, as are prolific salsa peppers such as 'Garden Salsa'.

Prune Back Ornamental Grasses

Use a mower or weed trimmer to trim old leaves from liriope. Use pruning shears to cut back miscanthus, pennisetum, and other large species. To do a neat job on the big grasses, bind the old leaves together with packing tape or a bungee cord before you start cutting.

Plant New Shrubs

Set out any deciduous shrubs you've been longing for, from butterfly bush to hydrangea to juniper. Even evergreens make most of their new growth in spring, so the earlier they get situated in the ground, the better.

Plant Blueberries

The finest fruits for edible landscapes, blueberries can't be beat for fine flavor and ease of culture. Plant two or three varieties to be sure of good cross-pollination. Blueberries prefer acidic soil, so add no lime as you prepare planting holes.

Plant Peas and Potatoes

Now is the perfect time to plant snow peas, shell peas, and snap peas in fertile, well-drained soil. Install a trellis at planting time. Potatoes practically grow themselves, though they do benefit from a thick mulch of hay or straw.


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