Middle South

April, 2008
Regional Report

Plant Seeds in Rows

Unless you're sure of your ability to distinguish crop and weed sprouts, plant seeds in rows and mark the rows carefully. That way, you can weed between the rows, and as the crop seeds sprout you'll be able to tell them apart from any weed seeds that invade the row.

Mow High, Mow Often

As unappealing as frequent mowing may sound, it's best for the lawn. For most types of grass, keeping the lawn relatively tall and removing less than one-third of the blade at each mowing encourages a lush lawn that crowds out weeds. A close-cropped lawn invites weeds to germinate, and removing any more than one-third of the blade at any one mowing stresses the grass plants.

Tranplant on Cloudy Days

Harden off transplants by exposing them to increasing levels of sun and cool temperatures over the course of a week or two. Then, if possible, set tranplants in the garden on a cloudy, calm day. If you must plant during less than ideal weather, plant in the late afternoon or evening, and protect plants with a scattering of straw or shade cloth for a few days so the roots can get acclimated.

Prevent Birds from Flying Into Windows

Large glass windows appear invisible to birds and it's so disheartening to hear the dull thud of a bird colliding with a window. Place decals or hang reflective ribbon on the outside of the glass to break up the reflection and warn birds and prevent crashes.

Prune Spring-Flowering Shrubs

Prune forsythias, azaleas, rhododendrons, lilacs, and other spring-blooming shrubs just after flowers fade. The plants will form next spring's flower buds during this growing season, so avoid pruning after early summer.

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