Coastal and Tropical South

March, 2008
Regional Report

Finish Planting Vegetables in Tropical Areas

In our tropical areas, many vegetables can still be planted in March, bit after that it's best to wait until later this year. Sow fresh seed now for sweet corn, cantaloupes, cucumbers, summer squash (straightneck and pattypan), and watermelon. Tomato and pepper plants going in now still have plenty of time, too.

Try These Beans

It's last call for planting bush and pole beans in the tropics, and an ideal time for both along the southern coasts. Reliably delicious and bountiful are bush varieties 'Contender', 'Cherokee Wax', and 'Horticultural'. For pole beans, try 'Blue Lake' and 'Kentucky Wonder 191' green beans, and 'Henderson' and 'Jackson Wonder' limas.

Move Indoor Ladybugs to the Garden

If Asian ladybugs found a winter home inside yours, make it a point to move them to the garden. Not only are they ferocious aphid eaters, which is especially helpful in spring, but they can be a problem indoors. Reports from allergists say ladybugs are implicated in allergies for some people.

Tend Azaleas

Troubled deciduous and evergreen azaleas benefit from your attention now. As the natives bloom and leaf out, replenish the mulch around them and spray trunks with horticultural oil if insects have been troublesome. Do the same for pest-ridden evergreen azaleas, but time sprays for before flower buds begin to show color.

Starting a Lawn

There are three ways to go when planting new lawns. Your choice depends on time constraints and budget. For instant and expensive beauty, choose solid sod. For cover in a few months, plugs are a moderately priced option. If you have plenty of time but not much budget, sow seed.

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