Lower South

December, 2009
Regional Report

Start A New Christmas Cactus

Want to start cuttings of your Christmas cactus? After the blooms are done, break of a section with four or five joints, and insert the basal end into a pot of moderately moist potting soil. Place a plastic bag over the cutting and secure it around the pot with a rubber band. Set it on a windowsill out of direct sunlight. The cutting should be rooted in three to four weeks.

Purchase Last-Minute Gardening Gifts

Need a few last-minute shopping suggestions for a gardening friend? How about a new gardening book, a subscription to a garden magazine, a houseplant, a nice container, some quality labor-saving tools, or a gift certificate?

Grow More Salads

Here in the South we can grow many salad vegetables all winter. Plant lettuce in small sections every two weeks to keep you in fresh salads all winter. Other winter greens include spinach, arugula, kale, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, green onions, and chard. Give these cool weather veggies a cover on a bitter cold night and they'll keep going all winter.

Bring In the Berries

Cut branches of berrying plants to brighten an indoor arrangement. Yaupon and possumhaw hollies are great native choices. Keep in mind that yaupon holly berries are poisonous. They should be avoided if small children are around. Other berry good choices for brightening a winter day in the Lower South include standard nandina, pyracantha, and several other species of landscape hollies.

Soil Test New Garden Areas

If you are planning on turning a new area into a garden next spring, there is still time to have your soil tested. Your County Extension Office can provide information on how to take and submit a soil test, and how to amend the soil based on the results. It is much easier to amend the soil before planting than after.

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