Middle South

December, 2003
Regional Report

Move Outdoor Containers

A little cold is good for hardy plants grown in containers, but extreme frigid conditions can do a lot of damage. Move hardy plants in pots to a protected location, such as near a warm south wall or a sheltered place on your porch or patio.

Pull Winter Weeds

Chickweed will shed seeds during winter warm spells, and henbit and dandelion use winter to develop lots of roots and basal buds. Pull these and other winter weeds when you see them, and throw them into your compost heap.

Mulch Perennials

Keep a pile of pine straw handy for mulching Shasta daisies, chrysanthemums, and other perennials when severe cold or ice is expected. Pull off the pine straw during periods of mild weather so the plants can replenish themselves with solar energy.

Beckon Birds

I love feeding the wild birds in winter, so I put out a diversified buffet that includes suet for woodpeckers and sunflower seeds for titmice, chickadees, and cardinals. Jays show up for bruised grapes and other fruits, and finches can never get enough thistle seed.

Pamper Poinsettias

To keep a poinsettia beautiful through the holidays, keep the soil lightly moist and protect the plant from extreme heat or cold. Plants with pale bracts benefit from strong light. All poinsettias enjoy a nightly rest in a cool, 65-degree room.

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