Lower South

October, 2007
Regional Report

Select Fall Foliage Ornamentals

Many woody ornamentals that provide good fall foliage color are planted from seed and thus they vary genetically from plant to plant. Fall is a good time to choose such plants as it allows you to get a preview of their potential to help you choose the best ones.

Move Tender Plants Indoors

Houseplants are generally tropical plants. Most really suffer from exposure to even mildly cold weather. Some of our tropical container plants can be damaged by temperatures around 50 degrees. Because the indoor environment has much lower light levels, move them to an intermediate location first to give them a week or so to adapt.

Prepare Soil for the Spring Garden

Prepare soil for spring planting now while the soil is still workable. In spring it is often too rainy to get in and start an early garden. Work in a few inches of compost and build raised planting beds for better drainage and faster warm up in spring.

Store Tulips and Hyacinths for Mid-Winter Planting

Purchase bulbs of tulips and hyacinths now while selection is still good. Then store them in the lower part of the refrigerator for six to eight weeks. Do not leave bulbs in airtight plastic bags during refrigerator storage or store them with apples, which give off ethylene gas thata can damage the bulbs. Plant these bulbs in mid to late December.

Prevent Pest Damage to Cool-Season Vegetables

Cool-season greens are a favorite target of caterpillars, beetles, and aphids. Spread a lightweight row cover fabric over the row after planting, leaving extra slack in the cover to allow for plants to grow. Secure the edges with boards or soil and the plants will grow virtually pest free right up until harvest. Caterpillars can also be controlled with sprays of the natural insecticide Bt.

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