Lower South

January, 2005
Regional Report

Prune Fruit and Nut Trees

Late winter is the time to prune fruit and nut trees. The most rapid wound healing occurs in spring and early summer, therefore pruning cuts made now with clean, sharp pruning tools will heal rapidly with the onset of spring growth. Your county or parish extension office has free information on proper pruning for various fruit and nut tree species.

Grow Some Gardening Knowledge This Spring

Attend some gardening classes this spring to improve your horticultural know-how and learn something new. Your local extension office, nurseries, and botanical gardens offer some excellent opportunities to learn about new plants and techniques, often at little or no cost.

Prepare Your Soil Before Planting

In order to turn your visions of a beautiful garden into reality, you need to start with good soil preparation. There's just no substitute for well-prepared soil. Compost is a wonderful thing ... use it! In much of the southeast, raised beds are helpful because spring usually brings a deluge of rain.

Select Adapted Plants

This is the time of year to choose the new vegetable and flower varieties for our gardens. Remember that the prettiest flowers and the tastiest veggies are the ones that \"want\" to grow in your area. Before you purchase and plant, talk to experienced gardeners and other local experts to determine which species and varieties are best suited.

Topdress Lawns With Compost

If your turf is struggling in poor soil conditions, apply 1/3 inch of finely screened compost over the surface of your lawn and you'll be pleased with the results. This thin layer will cover any bare areas and slowly feed the turf over the upcoming season. For an added boost, aerate the lawn prior to spreading the compost. Local municipalities often process landscape wastes and offer bulk delivery of compost at a reasonable rate.

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