Lower South

December, 2009
Regional Report

Rake Fallen Leaves Off Of The Lawn

Our southern turfgrasses continue to absorb the sun's rays during the winter months. Fallen leaves shade the turf, instead of allowing it a chance to replenish its carbohydrate reserves. Winter shading can cause partial dieback of the turf if leaves are left for weeks on end.

Christmas Tree TLC

A little extra attention early on will help keep your tree fresh and attractive through the month of December. Cut an inch off the base when you get it home. Quickly put the base in water and check the basin daily for the first week, as it will use lots of water early on. After a week or so check the water every few days to prevent it from drying out.

Extend The Life Of Holiday Plants

That poinsettia, Christmas cactus, cyclamen, or rosemary can be kept happy and healthy with a little extra attention to light and watering. Keep these potted plants well watered but not soggy-wet. Set them in a sink to water and then allow them to drain well before replacing any foil pot wraps. Place them in a bright location during the daylight hours and they will stay beautiful throughout the holiday season.

Don't Throw Away Free Fertilizer

Over half of the nutrients a tree takes up during the year are in its leaves. Recycle your leaves back into the landscape through composting or mulching. Don't let this free "black gold" get away. You'll soon find you are asking the neighbors for their leaves too as you can hardly get enough of this valuable resource for the landscape and garden.

Prepare Landscape Equipment and Water Hoses for Winter

Drain gasoline from power tools and run the engine until fuel in the carburetor is used up before storing them for winter. Drain and store garden hoses and watering equipment in a readily accessible location in case they are needed during an extended winter dry spell. Water left in hoses can cause damage to the hose when it freezes.

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