Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

November, 2001
Regional Report

Feed Cool-Season Veggies and Flowers

Cool-season vegetables and flowering bedding plants need good nutrition to keep blooming and producing. These plants perform best with a light fertilizing every 4-6 weeks. Use a complete plant food with a 3-1-2 or similar ratio of nutrients.

Plant Perennial Herbs

Fall is a great time to set out perennial herbs in our southern gardens. Thyme, oregano, rosemary, pineapple sage, parsley, lemon balm, and Mexican mint marigold are among the herbs best suited to fall planting in the south. Always work a few inches of compost into the soil prior to planting.

Keep New Trees and Shrubs Moist

Newly planted shrubs and trees can dry out in the warm sunny days of fall. Their roots are still very confined and depend on a regular soaking to stay moist and healthy. Keep their roots moist but not soggy-wet to help them become well established by spring.

Fall is Strawberry Planting Season in the South

Fall-planted strawberries have a head start on spring. Get them in soon to allow them time to grow and set fruit buds for a bumper crop in March and April. They detest "wet feet" so work some compost into the soil and build raised beds for optimum drainage.

Harvest Tomatoes and Peppers Before First Fall Frost

Pick tomatoes and peppers prior to the first frost. Peppers can be eaten immature, even if very small. Tomato fruit reach a mature green stage from which they will continue to ripen indoors on the kitchen counter. Less mature green fruit won't. To get a feel for the difference slice through a green tomato. If the knife cuts through the seeds it was not mature enough. If the seeds move to the side and the knife does not cut through them, it was mature enough.


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