Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

March, 2001
Regional Report

Sharpen Mower Blades

Check mower blades to be sure they're sharp. Sharp mowers cut grass cleanly with less stress on the mower. Dull blades leave the cut ends of the grass blade ragged and tan in color. This results in a lawn that lacks that vibrant green and is more prone to disease.

Fertilize Landscape Plants

Landscape trees and shrubs are hungry after their long winter's nap. Sprinkle a granular fertilizer around them, and to really get the food to the roots, punch holes in the ground approximately 8 inches deep around the drip line to feed and aerate the roots. Water well after fertilizing with either method.

Start Hanging Baskets

Now that the danger of frost is passing, it\'s time to plant summer baskets of color annual flowers. Suitable plants to grow in hanging baskets include cascading types of petunias, portulaca, ivy, geraniums, airplane plants, bougainvillea, begonias, and impatiens. Mix and match color schemes, use a time-release fertilizer, and keep them well watered for best growth.

Fertilize Azaleas and Camellias

Fertilize azaleas and camellias when they finish blooming. Apply 1 pound (about 2 cups) of azalea-camellia fertilizer per 100 square feet of bed area. Water in the fertilizer well and mulch plants with pine straw or chopped leaves to preserve moisture.

Divide Perennials

Existing clumps of fall-blooming perennials, such as chrysanthemums, asters, Mexican marigold-mint, and obedient plant can be divided now - it won't affect the fall blooms. Mix a few inches of compost into the new hole and reset the plants. Water well.


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