Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Tropical South

February, 2003
Regional Report

Watch the Thermometer

Water everything before a freeze. Pull mulch back to let warm soil temperatures radiate up to tender plants. Bring potted plants inside and cover other tender plantings with sheets or blankets. Plastic can turn plants to mush if morning sun heats the plants up too quickly.

Keep Watch for Insects

One good thing about cold weather is that it can knock down or eliminate some of our new imported pests that have gained a foothold in Florida. We have had warm weather for a long time, and this cold event can really nail the tropical bug invaders.

Join a Garden Club

The Florida Federated Garden Clubs do a great deal of charitable work. Last year the federation sent 90 students to Camp Weikiva for a week to learn about nature, plants, and the environment. Moringa Garden Club has youth gardening classes for 60 children. Many other clubs throughout the state perform similiar activities. Jo Williams of the Florida Federation has raised thousands of dollars, all used to landscape Habitat for Humanity homes. Federated Garden Clubs also raise money for these projects through house and garden tours like the one I recently attended in Coral Springs organized by Marcy DeMare.

Don't Prune Foliage

Leave your old frost/freeze damaged leaves on the plants after the cold has passed. Wait till all danger of cold is past before pruning or removing leaves, which act as insulation for the plant. By mid-March it is safe to commence with the cleanup.

Keep Planting

You still can replant vegetables and annuals that were killed by frost. They should still produce crops before summer's heat and humidity.


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