Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

November, 2000
Regional Report

Plant Cool-Season Vegetables

Plant cool-season veggies such as spinach, lettuce, and broccoli now. Protect tender seedlings and new transplants from a hard freeze with a fabric row cover. You don\'t have to be as cautious with established plants, since they\'re quite cold hardy. In our mild climate these veggies can grow through winter as long as you protect them on nights when temperatures drop into the low 20Fs.

Fertilize Veggies & Flowers

Cool-season vegetables such as broccoli and flowering bedding plants such as pansies need good nutrition to keep blooming and producing. Since plants take up fertilizers slowly in our cool winter soils, these plants perform best with a light fertilizing every 4 to 6 weeks. Use a complete plant food with a 3-1-2 or similar ratio of nutrients.

Feed Firethorn

Firethorn (Pyracantha) is ripening its berries now. This load can create a nutrient stress on the plant, causing leaves to turn from green to yellow. To correct this problem, apply a complete fertilizer and chelated iron fertilizer now to green up the leaves.

Divide Perennials

There is still time to divide and reset perennials such as phlox, violets, iris, daylilies, and shasta daisies. Dividing clumps produces transplants for expanding your beds or sharing with friends. Reset the new plants in soil with a couple of inches of compost mixed in. Many of these bloomers also appreciate a handful of bonemeal or superphosphate fertilizer worked into the soil beneath each plant.

Harvest the Last Tomatoes & Peppers

Frost will ruin your tomato and pepper fruits, so pick them ahead of time. Peppers can be eaten green, even if very small. Older green tomato fruit that\'s showing a little color will ripen indoors on a warm kitchen counter. Less mature fruits that are mainly green may not, but it is worth a try. To get a feel for the difference, slice through a fruit, if the knife cuts through the seeds, the fruit is not mature and is best used to make green tomato relish. If the seeds move to the side and the knife does not cut through them, the fruit is mature.


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