Lower South

February, 2004
Regional Report

Plant Taters

Plant potatoes (Irish and "new" potatoes) now so they'll have time to produce tubers before the arrival of hot weather shuts down the plants. Cut seed potatoes into sections with an eye or bud on each section. Place in a warm spot for a few days to allow the cut surfaces to dry prior to planting.

Prune Roses That Repeat Bloom

During February or early March, prune your rose bushes that repeat bloom from spring to fall. Use good shears that will make clean cuts. Remove dead, dying, and weak canes. Leave four to eight healthy canes, and remove approximately one-half of the top growth and height of the plant. Wait to prune spring-only blooming varieties until after they bloom.

Planting the Last of the Cool-Season Salad Greens

Warm weather and longer day lengths will be here soon. That means cool-season salad greens will start to bolt and decline. Now is the time to get out a final planting of cool-season greens like lettuce, spinach, and mesclun mix. Choose leafy types of lettuce rather than head lettuce for best results in late spring.

Plant Gladiolus Bulbs

Now is the time to begin planting gladiolus bulbs. Space planting dates at two-week intervals to extend the flower season into the summer. Gladiolus come in many beautiful colors and sizes and make outstanding cut flowers. Provide some support for the long bloom stalks to prevent a spring storm from laying them over.

Test Soil to Help With Fertilization

Have your soil tested every 3 or 4 years, especially when gardening in a new spot. The results will guide you on the nutrients your soil needs most ... and least. There\'s no ideal fertilizer for any plant. It all depends on what nutrients are in your soil. So garden smarter and start with a soil test!

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