Middle South

April, 2004
Regional Report

Set Out Early Tomatoes

You may need milk carton cloches to protect plants from cold winds, or you can wrap plastic around the base of a tomato cage. Either way, it's time to set out early tomatoes. Plant seedlings deep, so that only the top leaves show above the soil. New roots will form on the buried section of stem.

Plant Petunias

So many petunias, so little time! If you can't decide which petunias to call your own this year, try 'Misty Lilac Wave', which has been a top performer in gardens throughout our region. The soft lilac color goes with everything, and the plants bloom continuously all summer.

Keep Herbs Handy

In addition to the herbs I grow in garden beds, I keep a large container on my deck planted with my favorite culinary herbs: basil, mint, marjoram, parsley, and thyme. When I need a few sprigs for cooking, they are only a few steps outside the kitchen door.

Sow Nasturtiums

Easy to grow from seed, nasturtiums like an early start in cool soil. Soak seeds overnight before sowing them 1 inch deep and 4 inches apart in a sunny spot. After the seedlings appear, thin them to 12 inches apart. The pretty blossoms are edible, and they look great in a little vase.

Try New Vines

If you have a chain-link fence, you need vines! Many perennial vines show frightening exuberance, but annuals are usually a safe bet. Hybrid morning glories don't become weedy, or you might try thunbergia, cobaea, or scarlet runner beans.

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