Middle South

February, 2004
Regional Report

Revive Geraniums

If you have kept scented or blooming geraniums indoors through the winter, move them to the sunniest spot you can find and begin watering and feeding them. When new stems are 3 inches long, cut them off, dip the ends in rooting powder, and set them to root in clean containers.

Create a Cold Frame

The seedlings you start now, as well as those you buy early, will need to spend a week or two hardening off in a cold frame. I cover an empty raised bed with a plastic tunnel, which works great. Any chamber that admits light but moderates cold temperatures and blocks wind will work, including the dashboard of a rarely driven vehicle.

Prune Grapes

Prune grapes hard so that each plant is left with only a half dozen growing buds. Gather the prunings to use in crafts. This is also the perfect time to set out dormant vines, which can double as edible ornamentals when trained to grow over a pergola.

Plant Wildflowers

If wildflower seedlings planted in October succumbed to winter (as many of mine did), now is a good time to reseed the area with a regional mixture. Perennial species in particular grow best when the seeds are situated in soil crevices, ready to sprout first thing in spring.

Set Out Trees

Most of us have limited opportunities in our lives to make meaningful long-term investments in trees, so every chance you get is precious. Right now is the ideal time to dig planting holes, amend them with organic matter, and then set out either deciduous or evergreen trees.

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