Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern Coasts

November, 2000
Regional Report

Root Pruning

To move a native seedling tree this winter, root-prune it now. Choose a site much like its natural habitat, dig a hole, and amend the soil only slightly, with peat moss or compost, to ensure good drainage. Refill the hole until planting time. Next use a sharp shovel to dig a ring about 1 foot deep around the tree, 6 inches out for a 1-inch-diameter tree. New roots will grow inside the ring and transplanting later in winter will be easier.

Ground Cover Care

New ground covers interplanted last spring for weed and erosion control need your attention now. Remove annual flowers and groom the perennial ground covers. Mulch between plants and lay the runners of plants such as Asiatic jasmine on top. If you\'re planting clumpers such as liriope along a path, fill a curve with several plants and zigzag the ones in front for a neat, soft line.

Last Harvest of Herbs

Harvest tender herbs now before the freeze comes. If you can't use them fresh, freeze them, dry them, make vinegars, put up pesto, or marinate everything in sight in all types of flavorful combinations. Cut annual herbs down completely and prune back perennial herbs. Make a basil log to retain near-fresh basil flavor by washing a fistful of basil leaves and stems, wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap, and freezing. To use, unroll and slice from one end.

Transplant Strawberries

Buy your strawberry plants as soon as possible and keep them hydrated until you can plant. Choose a humid day to transplant and avoid windy days that will dry out your plants. Look for varieties developed in the Southeast for most disease and heat resistance. Mulch plants with hay or plant them in black plastic to control weeds.

Water Deeply

If you have in-ground sprinklers, be sure they are watering trees and shrubs deeply. If the water isn't going deep, shrubs and trees will tend to have shallow roots, making them more susceptible to drought stress. Water deeply three times a week, and if you used soaker hoses through the summer, switch to an oscillating sprinkler now.


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