Lower South

January, 2008
Regional Report

Start Tomato Transplants Indoors

Tomato transplants can be started indoors in January for transplanting out into the garden in early spring. This is a great way to get the varieties you want and save money on transplants. Place trays in a warm location, such as the top of a refrigerator for rapid germination. When seedlings emerge, move them near a bright window.

Complete Tulip and Hyacinth Planting

Don't forget those tulip and hyacinth bulbs you have stored in the refrigerator. They should be planted by early January for best results. These are usually one-season performers in the south, so plan on reworking the beds in spring for summer color plants.

Don't Wait to Plant Trees and Shrubs

Late fall through late winter is the best time to plant trees and shrubs. Roots will continue to grow in our cool winter soils. Early planting results in an established plant that's better prepared for the stresses of next summer. Firm the soil in around the roots, and water well at planting.

Get a Head Start On Spring Flowers

Sow seeds in flats or containers to get a jump on plant growth before hot weather arrives. Petunias, begonias, and impatiens should be sown in early January. Plants that need warm temperatures, such as marigolds, and periwinkles, should be sown in late January or early February.

Control Winter Weeds

Cool-season weeds are small now and easily removed by hand or with a light hoeing to slice just below the soil surface. Take advantage of nice days outdoors to get ahead of the weeds before warmer weather arrives and they become large, fast-growing invaders!

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