Mid-Atlantic

January, 2005
Regional Report

Plan Seed Starting

It seems so early, but some seeds, such as petunias and geraniums, need about four months after sowing to reach a respectable transplant size. Also, seeds of many perennials require chilling (cold stratification) prior to planting. If you expect to start seeds this spring, research the needs of the plants and plan your schedule accordingly. Don\'t be late!

Starting Indoor Cat Grass

Visit the pet store and pick up a small, inexpensive packet of so-called cat grass seed. Plant it per label instructions in dampened potting mix, and set the container in a bright windowsill. Keep the soil slightly damp (not sopping wet) and enjoy the bright spring green! Share some with kitty, too.

Delve into Catalogs

Mail-order catalogs make great winter reading material. Within them is a hoard of information. Discover what\'s new this year, develop your horticulture skills using their plant descriptions and suggestions, and compare recommended growing conditions. With a little more effort you can even teach yourself the botanical names of your favorite plants.

Use Evergreen Boughs

To recycle a cut Christmas tree, remove its branches and use them as a protective winter mulch in the garden. Place the branches flat so they shelter the crowns of perennials without weighing them down or smothering them. In spring, pull the branches aside so the plants can wake up naturally with the season.

Try Something New!

If it\'s been awhile since you tried something new and different in your garden, let this be the year you venture forth. There are many exciting new varieties of vegetables, as well as new introductions of annuals and perennials. And don\'t neglect the new tree and shrub cultivars. There is sure to be something new to please your eye and palate this season!

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