Coastal and Tropical South

January, 2006
Regional Report

Prune Hollies

The birds are devouring holly berries, signaling the end of the season when we most appreciate the evergreens. Choose a nice day after the fruit is gone to prune holly bushes and young trees. Shear off a few inches, or cut back more severely if needed to spur new growth.

Keeping Poinsettias

Poinsettias can soon look less than festive, so it's time to get the decorative wrapping off their pots. Throw away any yellow or curled leaves, and water the plants well, adding fertilizer mixed at half strength. Use any water-soluble formula now and again in a month.

Cut Back Grasses

As ornamental grasses come into bloom and turn from green to yellow to tan, they're done for the year. But time is short before new growth starts again and large grasses must be cut back. Cut deeply, as low as possible without cutting any green growing tips deep in the crown.

Mow Ryegrass

If you overseeded your lawn with perennial ryegrass, it should be mowed at 3 inches tall. Set the mower blade to remove no more than half the stand's height, and use the grass catcher or rake up the cuttings for the compost pile. If the grass is not deep green, fertilize it.

Watch for Fungus on Flowers

Your cool porch may usually be the best place for many houseplants, but if the temperature will be below 40 degrees, take care. Damp conditions and lack of sunlight compound the problems that can lead to certain fungus diseases. Watch for gray spores on flowers and clip them off promptly.

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