Lower South

March, 2007
Regional Report

Plant Summer Bulbs

Bulbs and corms of summer-blooming perennials can still go into the landscape. Ginger, allium, rain lily, canna, daylily, and society garlic can all add beauty to the landscape and will return year after year to prove they are a good investment.

Storing Extra Seeds

Flower or vegetable seeds leftover after planting the garden can be saved for the next season by closing the packets with tape or paper clips and storing them in a sealed glass jar in your refrigerator until needed. This will keep them viable for planting later this fall or next spring. Seeds left in warm, humid conditions tend to decline much faster.

Time to Plant Turfgrass

Now that the weather is warming up, turfgrasses are actively growing. It's a good time to start a new lawn or to fill in bare spots. Whether using seed or sod, rototill the area lightly to prepare the seed bed before planting. Keep the seeds or sod moist for several weeks to help them get off to a good start. Then begin to gradually wean them off of the water hose.

Fertilize Lawns

Once you have mowed your lawn grass twice (mowing weeds doesn't count), it is actively growing and can use a boost from some fertilizer. This is about mid-April in most of the lower south. If we fertilize too early the winter weeds will really benefit and nutrients can wash away or otherwise be lost before our sleepy-headed southern turf wakes up enough to really need it.

Don't Let Caterpillars Get the Best of You

Caterpillars are especially prevalent this spring, dangling from trees on silken strands or crawling about munching on rose buds and garden veggies. A few can be tolerated, but large numbers can defoliate plants and warrant spraying. Products containing B.t. are among the least toxic options. Just remember to avoid applying these to larval food source plants in the butterfly garden.

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