Lower South

March, 2007
Regional Report

Keep Transplants Strong

If you are growing your own warm-season transplants or purchase some at a local garden center, keep them growing strong until it is time to put them out in the garden. Provide plenty of sunlight, fertilize them with a dilute solution to keep them well fed, and move them up to the next pot size to prevent them from getting stunted due to confined roots.

Complete Dormant Season Pruning Soon

Complete pruning of fruit trees, roses, and deciduous trees, vines and shrubs soon. Evergreen hedges can also be sheared back now as regrowth will soon begin. Wait on ornamentals that only bloom in early spring until they are done flowering.

Plant Bare-Root Woody Ornamentals ASAP

If there are any bare-roots trees, shrubs, and vines you want to plant, get them in as soon as possible. Summer heat is on the way and they need time to settle in and start to establish some roots. Water them in well at planting and give them a little extra attention this coming summer -- they'll still be just babies!

Don't Fertilize Turf Too Early

Wait to fertilize southern turfgrasses until you have mowed them twice or about early April. By then the turf will be actively growing and will put the fertilizer to good use. Feeding earlier may encourage winter weeds and some may wash away before the turf begins active growth and can use it.

Give Cool Season Veggies a Boost

Feed broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, spinach, and other cool-season veggies every few weeks to keep them vigorous. Use a fertilizer higher in nitrogen to encourage good growth. Work it into the top inch of soil within about six inches of the plants and then water it in well.

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