Lower South

November, 2007
Regional Report

Gather Fallen Pecans Promptly

Pecans lose quality laying on the ground for an extended time, especially during wet conditions. Gather them weekly, then shell them, and store 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.

Relocate Rose Bushes

If you have a rose bush that did not do well due to lack of sunlight, you can transplant it now. Tie branches up with cord or twine to make handling easier. Dig the bush, taking care not to knock all the soil off the roots. Slide a tarp under the rootball and use the tarp to move it to its new location. Reset the bush at the same growing depth and water it in well. By moving it now, it will have plenty of time to re-establish before next summer arrives.

Clean Up Around Fruit Trees

Pick off and throw away any fruit shriveled and hanging on the tree or laying on the ground. These "mummies" are most likely diseased fruit that will produce spores to infect next year's crop in spring or summer. Wait to do any significant pruning until late winter. Studies have shown that pruning fruit trees in the fall can cause them to bloom earlier in the spring.

Harvest Citrus Before Frost

Cold-hardy citrus, such as Satsuma oranges, Kumquats, and Changsha tangerines, can take moderate cold but their fruit should be harvested prior to the first really cold snap. Don't wait for the fruits to turn fully orange before picking them. When they are halfway from green to orange they will be very sweet and tasty. If left too long their quality can decline.

Plant Seeds of Salad Vegetables

It's still prime time for planting seeds or transplants of lettuce, spinach, and other cool-season greens in the veggie garden. Barely cover seeds of most greens with finely screened compost. Scatter lettuce seeds on the surface as they need light to germinate.

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