Lower South

February, 2010
Regional Report

Apply Dormant Oil for Scale Control

Spray fruit trees, camellias, and other plants with scale infestations now. A dormant oil mixed according to label instructions will help smother and kill the scale insects. Complete coverage of all surfaces of the plant is critical for good control. Avoid oil sprays within a day or two of a freeze.

Plant Woody Ornamentals

Late winter is a great time to plant new trees, shrubs, and woody vines. By setting them out now, they'll have time to settle in and start developing a good root system before the demands of hot weather arrive.

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.

Fertilize Vegetable Gardens

Feed cool season vegetables to keep them vigorous and productive. Nutrients are less available in cool soil conditions, so a light application of fertilizer once every month or so will keep them growing and producing on through winter and spring. The exceptions are cool season peas, which won't benefit from additional feeding now.

Water Houseplants Sparingly

More houseplants are killed by soggy soil conditions than by any other factor. Feel the soil just below the surface and if it is moist, wait a bit to water. A sharpened pencil stuck into the growing mix makes a good watering gauge. If it comes out clean, the growing mix is dry; if it comes out with soil sticking to the sharpened surface, the mix is moist.

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