Lower South

March, 2008
Regional Report

Prevent Winter Weeds from Going to Seed

Mow winter weeds in the lawn before they have time to set seeds. Small patches of perennial weeds can be spot-sprayed or hand-dug to help prevent them from spreading.

Thin Fruit Trees

If your fruit trees make it through any spring frosts and set fruit, remove all but one apple or pear per bloom cluster. Thin plums to every 4 inches along the branch, and peaches/nectarines to every 6 inches. Don't thin persimmons as they will drop any excess fruit.

Caring for Camellias

Late-blooming camellias are finishing up their bloom cycle now. Give all types of camellias a boost by fertilizing with a product for acid-loving plants. Organic gardeners will find cottonseed meal to be a good choice. Any pruning that needs to be done should be completed soon so the plants have plenty of time to grow and set buds for next year. Apply a few inches of mulch around the roots to hold moisture and deter weeds.

Plant Warm-Season Vegetables

The average last frost date is passing in most of the lower south and so the warm-season vegetable garden is in full swing. Tomatoes, beans, squash, cucumbers, and Swiss chard can go in these next few weeks. Then follow a couple of weeks later with peppers and eggplant.

Prune Evergreen Shrubs

Hedges and other evergreen shrubs are about to put out new growth. Prune them now to shape them and promote a dense canopy of foliage. Always keep the base of the shrub wider than the top so lower branches won't be shaded and drop their foliage.

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