Lower South

February, 2008
Regional Report

Finish Planting Bare-Root Fruit and Nut Trees

Plant bare-root fruit trees and pecans as soon as possible. Warm weather will be here soon and the longer they have to become established the better. Container-grown plants will suffer less transplant shock and are the better choice as we move on past winter into spring and summer.

Control Scale Infestations

Spray fruit trees, camellias, and other plants that have scale infestations. Dormant oil mixed according to label instructions will help smother and kill the scale insects. Complete coverage of all surfaces of the plant is critical for good control. Avoid oil sprays within a day or two of a freeze.

Give Melons and Squash a Head Start

Cantaloupe, watermelons, squash, and cucumbers are usually direct-seeded into the garden. For a head start on the season you can start them indoors as transplants a couple of weeks ahead of their normal outdoor planting dates. Just don't let them stay too long in the confines of a seedling container or they will be stunted and not perform as well.

Sow Cool-Season Salad Greens

Warm weather and longer days will be here soon. That means cool-season salad greens will start to bolt and decline. So now is the time to get out a final planting of cool-season greens like lettuce, spinach, and mesclun mix. Choose leafy types of lettuce rather than head lettuce for best results in late spring.

Prevent Weeds From Seeding

Garden weeds like henbit and chickweed are growing fast toward flowering and setting seed. Remove them now or you'll have a few years of weed seed out there in the garden. If the seeds have matured, it's best to discard the weeds in the trash as most compost piles don't heat up enough to destroy the seeds.

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