Lower South

November, 2009
Regional Report

Holly Foliage May Indicate Nutrient Needs

Holly plants with a heavy set of fruit often suffer from a deficiency of iron or other nutrients. Apply a complete fertilizer now to keep the foliage green and the plants healthy. This will also get them off to a good start next spring.

Force Bulbs To Brighten Winter Days

Start bulbs for indoor forcing. Paperwhites and amaryllis are among the easiest and are readily available this time of year. A shallow dish with bulbs started for forcing makes a great gift for friends and neighbors. Keep them in a bright location for best results.

Harvest Tomatoes and Peppers Before First Fall Frost

Pick tomatoes and peppers prior to the first frost. Peppers can be eaten immature, even if very small. Tomato fruit reach a mature green stage from which they will continue to ripen indoors on the kitchen counter. Less mature green fruit won't. To get a feel for the difference slice through a green tomato. If the knife cuts through the seeds it was not mature enough. If the seeds move to the side and the knife does not cut through them, it was mature enough.

Divide and Reset Perennial Flowers

There is still time to divide and reset perennials such as phlox, violets, iris, daylilies, and Shasta daisies. Dig the clump and divide with a sharp shovel or long butcher knife. Mix a little manure or compost into the soil and reset the transplants at the level they were growing previously. Firm soil around the clump and water them in well.

Plant Perennial Herbs

Fall is a great time to set out perennial herbs in our southern gardens. Thyme, oregano, rosemary, pineapple sage, parsley, lemon balm, and Mexican mint marigold are among the herbs best suited to fall planting in the south. Always work a few inches of compost into the soil prior to planting.

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