Lower South

February, 2007
Regional Report

Spray Dormant Oil

Late winter is the time to apply dormant oil to fruit trees and other deciduous plants prone to problems with scale insects. Complete coverage is important if you are to achieve good control. Mix according to label instructions and avoid applying oil sprays within 36 hours of a freeze or plants may be damaged.

Clean Up Perennial Herbs

Warmer temperatures are just around the corner and our perennial herbs will soon be sending out new growth. Shear them back now to remove dead branches and to shape the plants as desired. They'll respond with fresh new growth over the coming weeks.

Avoid Working Wet Soil

Even though gardening fever is arriving in the south and we are yearning to get out into the garden, it's best to avoid working soil when it's wet. This destroys soil structure and can turn a clay soil into concrete when it dries later in the season. Pull back any mulch on the surface to allow the soil a better chance to warm up and dry out. Next fall, consider making your beds when you get some drier weather and that way you'll be ready to go when spring arrives.

Plant Roses

Mid-February is a great time to plant roses. There are so many wonderful types and varieties to choose from. Read up on the latest and the old faithfuls and pick a few to add to your landscape. Give them a lot of sun and a planting bed that's well drained with some extra compost mixed into the soil.

Pruning Roses

Now is the time to complete your rose pruning for the season with the exception of roses that only bloom in the spring. Each type of rose requires a little different approach to pruning so check out a good rose book or online reference to guide you in doing the job right.

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