Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

January, 2001
Regional Report

Prune Fruit Trees

Late winter is the time to prune fruit and nut trees such as apple and pecan. The most rapid wound healing occurs in spring and early summer. Pruning cuts made now with clean, sharp pruning tools will heal rapidly with the onset of spring growth. Remove dead and diseased wood first, then prune to create the desired structure.

Attend Gardening Classes

Attend some gardening classes this winter to improve your horticultural know-how while you wait for the garden to come alive again. Your local county extension office, nurseries, and botanical gardens may offer some excellent opportunities to learn about new plants and techniques, often at little or no cost.

Prepare Your Soil

There is nothing to substitute for good soil preparation before you plant any new garden. A little time spent preparing and amending the soil now will go a long way toward growing strong, healthy plants later. Compost is a favorite soil amendment. In much of our region, raised beds are also a good idea, as spring usually brings a deluge of rain.

Select New Varieties

This is the time of year to choose the new vegetable and flower varieties for our gardens. To grow the prettiest flowers and the tastiest veggies, first consider those varieties that will grow well in our climate. Planting the wrong variety for the climate can be a disappointment. Talk to experienced gardeners and your county extension office for suggestions of varieties that are well adapted to the area.

Plant Woody Ornamentals

Now is the time to plant woody ornamentals. Summer comes quickly in the South, with blistering hot weather that stresses a new plant's developing root system. The earlier you can plant, the more time the plants have to settle in and establish a root system before the onset of hot weather. Always remember to water well after planting.


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