Lower South

February, 2006
Regional Report

Protect Perennials from Cold Weather

This warm winter has our plants rather confused. Some perennials are already peeking out in an early attempt at new spring growth. When a freeze threatens, they are especially susceptible. Be ready to give them a deep mulching and cover for the night to help them make it through.

Treat for Scale Insects

Scale insects are most effectively controlled on fruit trees, camellias, beautyberry, euonymous, and other susceptible plants by dormant oil sprays applied in late winter but before blooms and leaf buds emerge. When using oil sprays, completely cover all branch areas, but avoid spraying within a day or two of a freeze.

Plant Onions

Late winter is onion-planting time. Select pencil-sized sets and plant them 1 inch deep in a rich garden soil in a sunny location. It's important to keep them growing vigorously with plenty of water and regular feeding. The larger the plant, the larger the bulbs when the plants are induced to start forming bulbs due to longer daylength in early spring.

Top-Dress Lawns With Compost

A light (1/4- to 1/2-inch) covering of compost applied now will give your turf a boost this spring. It also will help cover the soil surface and deter spring weeds that will begin germinating over the next four to six weeks.

Control Turf Weeds

Cool-season weeds are starting to take off growing now. If your infestation is not extensive, some simple hand-pulling can remove them. If you choose to spray, take care to do so before the weeds start to bloom and set seed for maximum effectiveness. Identify the weeds so you can chose the appropriate product for their control. Not all products work on all weeds in all stages of development.

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