Lower South

November, 2009
Regional Report

Check for Fruit Tree Pests and Diseases

When the foliage drops check your fruit trees for signs of disease cankers on the branches. Tie a piece of flagging tape on these branches for removal later during winter pruning. Remove any dried fruit "mummies" on the tree and any fruit remaining on the soil surface.

Keep New Trees and Shrubs Moist

Newly planted shrubs and trees can dry out in the warm sunny days of fall. Their roots are still very confined and depend on a regular soaking to stay moist and healthy. Keep their roots moist but not soggy wet to help them become well established by spring.

Prepare Soil for the Spring Garden

Prepare soil for spring planting now while the soil is still workable. In spring it is often too rainy to get in and start an early garden. Work in a few inches of compost and build raised planting beds for better drainage and faster warm-up in spring.

Stagger Lettuce Plantings

Plant lettuce in small sections every two weeks to keep you in fresh produce all winter. To conserve garden space plant lettuce in between slower maturing winter veggies like cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. By the time these veggies are getting larger the lettuce will be ready to harvest.

Reduce Fertilizer for Indoor Plants

The low light and cooler temperatures of winter mean your houseplants will need less nutrition to do well. Unless plants are in a very well lighted atrium or very bright window, you can probably cut back fertilizing by half. Also watch soil moisture, as it is easy to overwater during the winter months.

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