Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern Coasts

February, 2001
Regional Report

Feed Irises

Feed Louisiana irises now. Mix some half-strength liquid fertilizer and apply when watering or spread a granular flower formula around each plant and water it in. You can also use a slow-release, complete-formula fertilizer around irises now to nourish the developing flowers.

Removing Wild Privets

These hardy shrubs escaped from cultivation long ago and have spread by runners and seeds all across the Southeast. Our beautiful woodland perennials get crowded out quickly by these wild privets. The best control is to cut privet to the ground now, and when it resprouts later in the spring, control each new plant you see with an herbicide.

Remove Mulch for Bulbs

To encourage bulbs and perennials to emerge faster from the soil, remove any mulch around them to let the warm sun shine on the soil. Use a hand cultivator in small areas or rake the mulch away in big garden beds, being careful not to injure the crowns of perennials.

Prune Evergreens

Prune evergreens such as spruce and pine to remove any winter damage. Boxwoods and compact hollies may some pale yellow leaves, although the leaves underneath are a healthy green. Trim off just the dead leaves, and new growth will fill in the gaps. Cut leafless canes on nandina down to the ground.

Make a Wattle Fence

Like the settlers before us, we can use dead branches and twigs to make a useful wattle fence for garden beds. Choose a sturdy limb and cut it into pieces about 3 feet long. Plant those sections upright in a row about 4 feet apart. Secure other branches along the uprights, then weave shorter pieces in and out of the crosspieces.


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