Middle South

January, 2005
Regional Report

Inventory Seed-Starting Supplies

Now is a good time to take inventory of your gardening supplies for this year's seed starting. Check quantities of potting soil, containers, labels, etc. Sterilize any used containers with a 10 percent bleach solution.

Water Fig Tree Carefully

If your indoor fig tree is starting to drop leaves, it may be due to your watering schedule. Don\'t overwater, and don\'t let the tree stand in a saucer of water for an extended length of time or its roots may be damaged. On the other hand, don\'t let soil dry out completely either. Try to keep the soil evenly moist, watering throroughly, then allowing the excess water to drain. Wait until the soil dries out slightly before watering again.

Caring for Poinsettias After the Holidays

You can still enjoy your poinsettia for weeks or months. Place the plant in the sunniest window in a cool (65 degrees F.) spot in the house. Keep it out of cold drafts, and water only when the soil is absolutely dry. Begin fertilizing again in spring.

Provide Supplemental Light for Houseplants

If your houseplants are growing tall and leggy, they probably need some supplemental light. Use fluorescent lights to help compensate for short days. Place the lights 4 to 6 inches above the tops of the plants, and keep them on for about 16 hours a day.

Start Placing Seed Orders

For the best selection and to ensure timely delivery, place your seed orders as soon as possible. Some varieties may be in short supply -- especially new ones that you\'re excited to try. Don\'t be disappointed -- order early.

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