Middle South

November, 2008
Regional Report

Plant Garlic

Plant garlic cloves 3 inches deep in rows about 8 inches apart in fertile, well-drained soil. Mulch with 2 inches of straw after a hard freeze. The cloves develop roots during the winter, and by spring you'll see green shoots poking up through the mulch.

Set Up Grow Tunnels

Many greens, including spinach, arugula, and kale will survive winter if you cover the plants with a plastic growing tunnel. Make support hoops out of half-inch-thick PVC pipe and secure them in the ground. Then drape clear plastic over the hoops, holding the edges down with heavy boards.

Gather Pine Straw

There is no better mulch than pine straw for plants that like acidic soil, such as azaleas, camellias, and blueberries. If you find a free source, rake it up and stockpile a few bags so they are ready and waiting for mulching tasks.

Cut Back Mums

Once the chrysanthemum blooms fade, cut plants back to about 4 inches, then mulch with pine straw or loose bark mulch to protect the crown and any shoots that emerge too early in spring.

Edible Ornamentals

Leaves of ornamental cabbage and kale make beautiful garnishes for salads and platters. You also can eat pansy blossoms that have been grown without pesticides, and a few chrysanthemum petals are welcome last-minute additions to soups.

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