Lower South

November, 2004
Regional Report

Plant Cool-Season Color

Don't give up on color for the cool season. The cold-hardy champs of the flower garden are pansies, violas and ornamental cabbage and kale. Yet there are many other flowers that will make it through most of our relatively mild southern winters, including stocks, snapdragons, alyssum, dianthus and cyclamen.

Don't Mow Turf Too Close

Our southern turf grasses are entering their winter rest period. Don't mow the lawn too short before you put up the mower for winter. The grass blades will give the runners some protection from the cold, and will shade the soil surface, reducing germination of weed seeds.

Prepare Soil Now For The Spring Garden

Prepare soil for spring planting now while the soil is still workable. In spring it is often too rainy to get in and start an early garden. Work in a few inches of compost and build raised planting beds for better drainage and faster warm-up in spring.

Move Tender Plants Indoors

Bring houseplants and other cold-tender plants indoors well before a frost. Some of our tropical container plants can be damaged by temperatures around 50 degrees. Because the indoor environment has much lower light levels, move them to an intermediate location first to give them a week or so to adapt.

Root Rose Cuttings

An easy way to root roses is to take cuttings about 4 inches long, dip them in rooting hormone, and stick them in the soil in a moist, shaded spot, such as under the eaves on the north or east side of your home. Place quart jars over the cuttings for a month or two to reduce evaporation. Keep the soil moist over the winter. In spring check the cuttings and you'll find a decent percentage will be rooted and ready for transplanting.

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