Lower South

March, 2006
Regional Report

Don't Harm Those Bees

Fruit trees are starting to bloom in the lower south. Bees are busy working those blooms, a critical part of a successful bumper crop of fruit. Avoid using insecticide sprays during this period of time as they can be devastating to these and other insects that pollinate our fruit and vegetable plants.

Fertilize Camellias and Azaleas

Camellia and azalea plants will soon be completing their spring bloom period. This is the time to fertilize them with 3 pounds of azalea-camellia fertilizer per 100 square feet of bed area. This spring feeding will help keep them healthy and vigorous so they can set new buds in mid to late summer for next year's blooms.

Decorate With Colorful Hanging Baskets

Start a few warm-weather hanging baskets this month to help decorate a porch or patio with greenery and color. A few of the many plants suitable for hanging baskets are trailing types of petunias, portulaca, ivy, geraniums, airplane plants, bougainvillea, begonias, ferns, and impatiens.

Plant Warm-Season Bedding Plants

Now is a good time to set out transplants of warm-season bedding plants for early color in the landscape. Some great choices include ageratum, cockscomb, coreopsis, cosmos, cleome, marigolds, nasturtiums, petunias, phlox, portulaca, salvia, sweet alyssum, sunflowers, and zinnias.

Choose Caladiums for a Tropical Touch

Caladiums make great summer color for shady southern areas. They come in many shades of white, pink, red, and green. For best selection purchase caladium tubers now for planting in late April and early May when the soil temperature has reached at least 70 degrees F.

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