Middle South

January, 2006
Regional Report

Revive Geraniums

Begin feeding and watering geraniums, marjoram, and other annuals that you kept indoors through the winter. Move them to brighter light, too. The objective is to coax them into producing healthy new shoots, which can then be cut off and rooted to form this spring's new plants.

Sow Sweet Peas

Sweet peas planted now will begin germinating while it's still cold, but the seedlings are remarkably cold hardy. Besides, if you wait until spring to plant them, hot weather will seriously shorten the bloom time of these cool-season plants.

Repot African Violets

African violets are ready to come out of their winter rest, so it's a fine time to get them settled in clean pots with a fresh supply of soil. Clip off any leaves that turned brown because they were too close to a cold window, and use warm water to gently rinse the root ball to clean away accumulated salts.

Bring In Forced Bulbs

Bulbs planted in containers and kept out in the cold can be brought inside now, where warmth will quickly coax them into bloom. For a continuous show, bring in one pot each week. Water lightly but frequently to encourage slow, steady growth of buds and foliage.

Start a Calendar for Gardening Chores

A wall calendar need not be pretty to work as a great gardening aid. Attach a pencil on a string and install any old wall calendar where you keep your gardening stuff. Then use it to mark down plantings, feedings, harvests, and other memorable events of the season.

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