Lower South

November, 2006
Regional Report

Harvest Tomatoes and Peppers Before First Fall Frost

Pick tomatoes and peppers prior to the first frost. Peppers can be eaten immature, even if very small. If tomato fruits have reached a mature green stage on the plant, they will continue to ripen indoors on the kitchen counter. Less mature green fruit won't.

Dry Rose Petals for Potpourri

This is the last call for those rose blooms before winter. Collect petals from the blooms and spread them on a screen in a warm, dry area. They will dry in a few days and then can be stored in a paper sack until you are ready to use them in making potpourri. Most petal colors dry well except for white ones, which tend to turn a drab brown color.

Collect and Store Pecans to Maintain Quality

If you're fortunate enough to have pecan trees, collect the nuts promptly, shell them and store the kernels in containers in the freezer. This will assure good quality for up to a year. Warm conditions and exposure to air will cause pecans to turn rancid rather rapidly.

Plant Ryegrass to Protect Bare Soil Areas

New homeowners with bare soil areas may want to plant ryegrass to help hold the topsoil in place over the winter and to keep the "back 40" from being tracked into the house. Cereal rye, on the other hand, makes a good overwinter soil builder for unplanted areas in the vegetable garden. Sow rye seed at a rate of 8 to 10 pounds per 1000 square feet.

Storing Fall Potatoes and Squashes

Potatoes and winter squash will keep for quite a while if conditions are right. Store potatoes and winter squash in an area with moderate humidity and cool temperatures. This will assure the longest possible shelf life. Check periodically and promptly remove any showing signs of decay.

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