Middle South

March, 2005
Regional Report

Divide Perennials

Dig up and divide large clumps of perennials, such as daylilies and hostas. There are two methods. You can dig up the entire clump, cut it into pieces, then replant each piece. Or you can take sections of the roots from around the perimeter of the clump and replant those, leaving the center intact. The latter is especially good for large clumps that would be difficult to dig up whole.

Start Tomato Seeds

If you haven't already started your tomato seeds, don't worry. Start some seeds now and the plants will grow quickly. It's better to transplant small, stocky, healthy seedlings than ones that were started too early and have become stressed and overgrown.

Allow Bulb Foliage to Die Back Naturally

If they haven\'t already, your spring-flowering bulbs should be poking their heads up soon. Once the flowers have gone by, resist the temptation to cut back withering foliage; the plant needs this time to replenish the bulb. Allow the foliage to die back on its own.

Plant Potatoes

Although many gardeners shun growing potatoes because they are relatively inexpensive in the store, they are missing out on a real treat. Home-grown potatoes are tender and sweet and great fun to dig. Choose small, fast-maturing varieties and plant now for an early summer harvest.

Plant Pansies

Pansies are readily available now and add a splash of color to the landscape while it\'s still too cool to plant most other annuals. Pansies can withstand light frosts; if an unusual hard freeze is predicted, cover them with some landscape fabric or an old sheet.

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