Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

October, 2001
Regional Report

Just Say "No" to Overseeding the Lawn

Although a common practice in the south, overseeding a lawn with ryegrass is not recommended. The ryegrass competes with our warm season turfgrasses, during winter and the spring transition period. Overseeded lawns often decline over time, thinning out and giving way to weed invasions. An overseeded lawn must also be mowed and watered during the cool season.

Store Tulip and Hyacinth Bulbs for Mid-Winter Planting

Purchase bulbs of tulips and hyacinths now while selection is still good. Then store them in lower part of the refrigerator for 6-8 weeks. Do not leave bulbs in airtight plastic bags during refrigerator storage. Also, avoid storing them with apples, because the ripening fruit gives off ethylene, which can damage the bulbs. Plant these bulbs in mid to late December.

Dig and Store Caladium Tubers for Next Spring

If you wish to save caladium tubers for another year, dig them now and allow them to dry for a week or so in a well ventilated but shaded area. Remove dried leaves and carefully brush off soil. Store in a cool area where the temperature will not go below about 55 degrees F.

Watch for Nutrient Deficiency on Hollies

Holly plants with a heavy set of fruit often suffer from a deficiency of iron or other nutrients. Apply a complete fertilizer now to keep the foliage green and the plants healthy. This will also get them off to a good start next spring.

Divide and Reset Perennial Flowers

There is still time to divide and reset perennials such as phlox, violets, iris, day lilies, and Shasta daisies. Dig the clump and divide with a sharp shovel or long butcher knife. Mix a little manure or compost into the soil and reset the transplants at the level they were growing previously. Firm soil around the clump and water them in well.


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