Lower South

September, 2005
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Oregano and Marjoram
Need a plant that will do well spilling over the sides of a container or growing as a ground cover in sunny areas? How about one that offers culinary benefits as well? Oregano and marjoram are two that fit the bill. They make great ornamental ground covers and are well adapted to sunny areas that periodically tend to dry out a bit. The leaves are a staple in seasoning tomato-based sauces as well as soups, seafood, and grilled meats. These herbs have been jointly named the 2005 Herb of the Year. So get a head start and plant some oregano and marjoram now. They will be much stronger than their spring-planted counterparts.

Clever Gardening Technique

Quick Garden Cleanup
If your garden is looking ragged and overgrown from neglect after the long, hot summer, here's a fast and easy way to get it back in shape. Set your mower on a high setting and mow everything down to the ground. Then drop the blade to the lowest setting and go over it again. Cover the beds with newspaper four to six sheets thick, spraying them with water as you go to hold the paper down. Then cover the paper with leaves, grass clippings, pine straw, or spent hay. Fill walkways with more leaves as they become available. You can leave the garden to rest over the winter and the soil will be ready to go in spring. If you want to do some late fall or winter planting, simply tear holes in the newspaper to set in your transplants, or cut open a strip and plant a row of vegetable seeds.

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