Lower South

January, 2009
Regional Report

Plant Cool-Season Veggies

We can continue to plant cole crops such as broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, and collards. Other veggies to plant include radish, carrot, lettuce, spinach, and turnips. Protect tender seedlings from a hard freeze with a sheet or row cover fabric. Growing these plants under a lightweight row cover fabric during winter months will speed up growth and increase production.

Plant Woody Ornamentals

Now is the time to get those woody ornamentals planted. Summer comes quickly in the South with its blistering hot weather that puts a strain on a new plant's developing root system. The earlier you get them planted the more time they have to settle in and start to establish a root system before the onset of hot weather.

Prune Wisely

Prune with a purpose, not because there's nothing else to do in the winter. Use sharp tools and make cuts close and clean for rapid healing. The most rapid wound healing occurs in spring and early summer. Learn the proper form for the species you are pruning. Too many gardeners needlessly butcher their plants resulting in unsightly shrubs and trees with weak branches.

Have Your Soil Tested

It is good to have your soil tested before planting a new area or every 3 or 4 years in established garden areas. These tests provide the basis for fertilizer applications. Complete the testing soon to allow time to get the results back and make needed amendments. Your local Extension Office can assist you with having a soil test done.

Fertilize Cool-Season Vegetables

A little extra winter feeding will help keep vegetables vigorous and productive. In the cool months nutrients may not be as available as they will after the soil warms up. Feed plants every 4-6 weeks with a light dose of fertilizer in a 3-1-2 ratio of nutrients. The extra nitrogen is important in the winter garden.

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