Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

March, 2001
Regional Report

Plant Warm-Season Veggies

With our short spring season, now is the time to plant warm-season crops such as tomatoes and beans so they'll mature before the heat of summer sets in. Wait too long to plant, and your harvests will be dramatically reduced. Choose varieties adapted to the South such as 'Solar Set' tomato.

Leaf Drop on Evergreens

It is normal for old leaves on magnolia, gardenia, abelia, live oak, and certain other broad-leafed evergreen trees and shrubs to turn yellow and fall in spring. This is no cause for concern, however; the leaves that drop are just making way for new growth.

Select Caladium Tubers

Caladiums are a great source of leaf color and texture in shade gardens. Now is the time to buy tubers and get ready to plant. Keep them in a warm, dry location until the soil temperature reaches at least 70 degrees, and then plant them in compost-enriched soil.

Fertilize Turf Grass

Now that the weather is warmed and our southern turf grasses are waking up from their winter rest, they could use a little boost of fertilizer. Slow-release fertilizers are best, but you can also use a regular-release product divided into two applications about 6 weeks apart.

Save Unused Seeds

Have you ever opened a packet of seed and not needed all of them for your garden? Those seeds can be saved for planting this fall or next year by closing the packets with tape or paper clips and storing them in a sealed glass jar in your refrigerator. Cold, dry storage will maintain their viability much better than leaving them in a garage or tool shed.


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