Lower South

January, 2004
Regional Report

Prune Fruit and Nut Trees

Late winter is the time to prune fruit and nut trees. The most rapid wound healing occurs in spring and early summer. Therefore pruning cuts made now with clean, sharp pruning tools will heal rapidly with the onset of spring growth. There are many great books as well as Web sites to guide you in proper pruning of each type of fruit or nut tree.

Select Adapted Species and Varieties

This is the time of year to choose the new vegetable and flower varieties for our gardens. Remember that the prettiest flowers and the tastiest veggies are the ones that WANT to grow in your area. Before you purchase and plant, talk to experienced gardeners and your County or Parish Extension office for suggestions of varieties that are well adapted your area.

Plant Woody Ornamentals

Now is the time to get those woody ornamentals planted. Summer comes quickly in the south with its blistering hot weather that puts a strain on a new plant's developing root system. The earlier you get them planted, the more time they have to settle in and start to establish a root system before the onset of hot weather.

Grow Some Gardening Knowledge

Attend some gardening classes this spring to improve your horticultural know-how. Your local Extension Office, nurseries, and botanical gardens offer some excellent opportunities to learn about new plants and techniques, often at little or no cost. Don't miss the chance to improve your gardening savvy!

Stockpile Leaves For Summer Mulching

I never seem to get enough leaves to last through spring, summer, and fall gardening. Now is a good time to stockpile them for later. To stockpile large quantities without the unsightly mess of piles of trash bags, I spread leaves deeply on walkways in the garden, shred them with a mower to reduce their volume, and then store them in large (6-foot-wide) circles of wire mesh out back behind the garage.

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Special Report - Garden to Table

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