Lower South

January, 2008
Regional Report

Top-Dress Lawns With Compost

A light (1/4 to 1/2 inch) covering of compost applied now will give your turf a boost this spring. It also will help cover the soil surface and deter spring weeds that will be germinating over the next few weeks. Some studies indicate compost applications also help prevent some turf diseases, too.

Training Climbing Roses

Climbing roses should be trained for an attractive, graceful look to the plants during the upcoming bloom season. Weave long canes through openings in trellises or arbors and tie them with jute twine or plastic/wire plant ties. Wait until after the spring flowering period to prune climbing or once-blooming shrub roses.

Plant Onions

Late winter is onion-planting time. Select pencil-sized sets and plant them 1 inch deep in a rich garden soil in a sunny location. It is important to keep them growing vigorously with plenty of water and regular feeding. The larger the plant, the larger the bulbs when the plants are induced to start forming bulbs with the longer daylength in early spring.

Sharpen Your Gardening Knowledge

Your local Extension office, nurseries, and botanical gardens may be offering some excellent opportunities to learn about new plants and techniques. Take advantage of these great programs that can help you improve your gardening savvy.

Prune Fruit and Nut Trees

Late winter is the time to prune fruit and nut trees. The most rapid wound healing occurs in spring and early summer. Therefore, pruning cuts made now with clean, sharp pruning tools will heal rapidly with the onset of spring growth. Your county or parish Extension office has free information on proper pruning techniques for various fruit and nut tree species.

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