Tropical South

February, 2004
Regional Report

Buy it When You Find it

Whenever you find a special or new plant or variety that you crave, buy it at once. If you pass it by, you may never find it again. It's okay to buy a small one instead of a large one, but don't take frugality too far or you'll regret what you missed.

Ask for a Cutting

Most of the time, especially in private gardens, this is quite acceptable and the owner of the coveted plant will be flattered and glad to share. There are times when you should not ask: when the owner makes his or her living selling plants, when there is a large crowd and not enough growth for everyone to take a cutting, and when a plant is marked as a patented variety.

Join a Plant Society

There are groups all over Florida that have great fun sharing their
enthusiasm and information for particular plants such as herbs, in addition to sharing cuttings, seeds, and plants. Check with your extension service for groups in your area and when they meet. Most of them welcome visitors so you can go to a meeting or two before you actually join.

Adjust Watering and Feeding

Spring growth is starting and days are getting longer. Plants need a little more water and nutrients than they did in December, but still not nearly as much as they will in April and May.

Gather Mulch

Neat non-gardeners are cleaning up their yards and putting out bags of leaves and pine needles for pick up. All of this material is legal to take, and the men on the trucks will be glad you beat them to it. Be the bag person in your neighborhood, and all your plants will be glad for the mulch or compost. Dry leaves are much lighter to lift than grass clippings.

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