Middle South

March, 2006
Regional Report

Renew Perennial Herbs

Some perennial herbs, such as thyme and sage, tend to get woody after a few years in the garden. Renew plantings by starting seeds or rooting cuttings and growing them to transplant size before setting them in the garden. You'll have plenty of young, tender herbs to harvest all summer.

Plan for Summer Bulbs

Plan to add summer-blooming bulbs to your flower gardens. Gladiolas, cannas, dahlias, and peacock lilies (Acidanthera) can all be planted outdoors once the danger of frost is past. Be sure the planting area is well drained to prevent bulbs from rotting.

Water Shrubs Under Eaves

If you have shrubs planted under the eaves of your house, be sure to water them regularly year-round, since they don't get the benefit of rainfall. And although all plants need some moisture during the winter, broadleaf evergreens, such as azaleas and rhododendrons, need a consistent supply of moisture to prevent dessication.

Renew Wooden Planters

Collect wooden planters and windowboxes, repair them if necessary, and renew them with a fresh coat of paint or sealer. Because plants in wooden containers tend to dry out quickly, consider lining the planters with heavy plastic, making holes in the bottom to match the holes in the planters so water will drain.

Plant Bare-Root Trees and Shrubs

Now is a good time to plant bare-root trees, shrubs, and roses. Bare-root plants are dormant, and early planting will give them time to settle in and begin to develop new roots before they leaf out. And although container-grown and balled and burlapped shrubs can be planted anytime, it's best to get them in the ground before hot weather arrives.

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