Upper South

March, 2014
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Lenten Rose
Most of the most widely grown hellebores, popularly known as Lenten roses, are at their height of bloom over the next several weeks. From the fifteen species of Helleborus, hybridizers have now produced dozens and dozens of offspring, with flowers ranging from white or green through shades of cream, pink, and burgundy, as well as some with spots or speckles. Hellebores are especially effective when grown in groups in a lightly shaded woodland garden or mixed border of trees, shrubs and perennials. They grow best in moist but well-drained, fertile, humus-rich soil. For those whose psyches need early spring flowers to buoy their spirits through winters last days, there are no finer flowers than Lenten roses.

Clever Gardening Technique

Monitor Soil Temperature
With the first warm days of spring, how tempting it is to plant some vegetable seeds. Yet it is not the air temperature that most often controls seed germination, but rather the soil temperature. How do you take the soil's temperature? Why, with a soil thermometer! Soil thermometers are available at garden stores and online starting under $10. To find out the optimum soil temperature for germination of various vegetable crops, check out http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1061/ANR-1061.pdf

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