Lower South

October, 2005
Regional Report

Relocating Roses

If you have a rose bush that did not grow well due to lack of sunlight, you can transplant it now. Tie branches up with cord or twine to make handling easier. Dig the bush, taking care not to knock all the soil off the roots. Slide a tarp under the root ball and use the tarp to move it to its new location. Reset the bush at the same growing depth, and water it in well. By moving it now it will have plenty of time to re-establish before next summer arrives.

Brighten Winter Days With Potted Bulbs

Start bulbs for indoor forcing. Paper whites and amaryllis are among the easiest and are readily available this time of year. A shallow dish with bulbs started for forcing makes a great gift for friends and neighbors. Keep them in a bright location for best results.

Reduce Fertilizer On Indoor Plants

The low light and cooler temperatures of winter mean your houseplants will need fewer nutrients to do well. Unless plants are in a very well lighted atrium or 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.

Prepare Soil Now For The Spring Garden

Prepare soil for spring planting now while the soil is still workable. In spring it is often too rainy to get in and start an early garden. Work in a few inches of compost and build raised planting beds for better drainage and faster warm-up in spring.

Stagger Lettuce Plantings

Plant a few feet of lettuce every two weeks to keep you in fresh produce all winter. When a freeze threatens, cover tender seedlings with a row cover fabric. Fertilize in light, frequent doses to keep the plants vigorous.

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