Lower South

December, 2010
Regional Report

Start New Cool Season Greens

It is a good idea to start new plantings of cool season greens such as lettuce, arugula, and spinach periodically through the winter season. A succession of small plantings keeps fresh greens coming for months to come. You can start transplants indoors to hedge your bet against hard freezes and then move them out to the garden when they are large enough to transplant.

Plant Bulbs

Although fall is generally the prime time for planting bulbs such as paperwhites, daffodils, amaryllis, oxblood lilies, and lycoris, you can still plant them now if you don't delay. They will have enough time to establish and be ready for next year's blooming season for the various species.

Root Perennial Herb Cuttings

Perennial herbs can be rooted indoors from cuttings taken now. Remove the leaves from the lower third of the cutting and dip the stem in rooting hormone. Then stick them in a moist, loose rooting medium such as half perlite and half peat moss and cover with a clear plastic bag. Place them in a bright area but out of direct sunlight.

Order Seeds and Bare Root Plants

If you plan on ordering seeds or bare root fruit trees, roses or other plants by mail, the earlier you place your order the more likely your selections are to be in stock. New and less common plants often sell out so don't delay.

Prepare Soil for Acid Loving Shrubs

Many types of flowering shrubs including azaleas, camellias, pieris, Virginia sweetspire and gardenias do well in acidic soil conditions. Several weeks prior to planting, mix in several inches of peat moss and build up raised planting bed to ensure good drainage. Early preparation allows time for the soil to settle and ensures you'll be ready for planting, whatever the weather, when the time arrives.

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