Lower South

November, 2004
Regional Report

Reduce Fertilizer For Indoor Plants

The low light and cooler temperatures of winter mean your houseplants will need less fertilizer. Unless plants are in a very well lighted atrium or a very bright window, you can probably cut back fertilizing by half. Also watch soil moisture, as it is easy to overwater during the winter months.

Stagger Lettuce Plantings

Plant lettuce in small sections every two weeks to keep you in fresh produce all winter. To conserve garden space, plant lettuce in between slower-maturing winter veggies like cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. By the time these veggies are getting larger, the lettuce will be ready to harvest.

Bring Berrying Branches Indoors

Cut branches of berrying plants to brighten an indoor arrangement. Keep in mind that yaupon berries are poisonous. They should be avoided if small children are around. Use good pruning practices when selecting Christmas greenery from landscape plants. Don't destroy the natural form and beauty of the plant.

Be Alert for Loopers

Watch for loopers on cole crops (broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts) in the vegetable garden and on ornamental kale and cabbage. When they first appear, treat with a product containing Bacillus thuringiensis, a natural caterpillar control ingredient.

Don't Let Leaves Smother The Lawn

Our southern turf grasses slow down when the weather is cold but don't go truly dormant. Leaves shade and stress the turf during winter and therefore should be removed periodically. Use them in a compost pile, rototill them into garden soil, or stockpile them for spring and summer mulching. A mulching mower also can be used to grind them up so they disappear into the lawn.

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