Lower South

February, 2006
Regional Report

Fertilize Established Woody Ornamentals

The roots of trees, shrubs, and vines are active in early spring in our warm southern climate. Established plants will benefit from some extra nutrition applied early. Spread about 2 cups of a turf type fertilizer per 100 square feet to provide an extra boost of nitrogen as these woody ornamentals begin their spring growth.

Divide Fall-Blooming Perennials

Late winter is the time to divide perennial plants that bloom in fall. Chrysanthemums, autumn asters, Mexican marigold-mint, Physostegia (obedient plant) and late summer-blooming bulbs can be dug, divided, and reset now. That will give them a long spring and summer season to become established and ready to bloom again.

Finish Planting Bare-Root Fruit and Nut Trees

Plant bare-root fruit and pecan trees as soon as possible. Warm weather will be here soon, and the longer they have to become established the better. Container-grown plants will suffer less transplant shock and are the better choice as we move on past winter into spring and summer.

Start With a Soil Test

Have your soil tested every three or four years, especially when gardening in a new spot. The results will guide you on the nutrients your soil needs most ... and least. There's no "ideal" fertilizer for any plant. It all depends on what is in your soil to begin with.

Stockpile Leaves For Summer

We just can't seem to get enough leaves for summer mulching and composting. No matter how many bags we stockpile, they always run out long before the fall season arrives again. Now is the time to get in that last stash from neighbors who continue to discard their leaves. Gather this landscape treasure now, and in summer you'll be glad you did!

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