Mid-Atlantic

February, 2011
Regional Report

Mow Warm-Season Meadows

For established meadows, mow in early spring -- March 1 to April 1. Mowing early is less disturbing to birds and animals who nest as weather warms. Mowing later will disrupt nesting, feeding, and can kill small and young birds and animals. Mow on a dry day at a height of eight to twelve inches.

Tune Up Pruning Tools

Be ready to prune when the weather breaks. Late winter can be such a tease, with maybe two or three warm, sunny days followed by a cold spell. Have hand pruners, loppers, pruning saws, and chainsaws cleaned, oiled, and sharpened sooner rather than later. That way you can grab them and go when the weather cooperates, knowing cuts will be clean and tools are in good, safe condition for you.

Talk with Your Family about the Vegetable Garden

Chat with your children and partner about what they want in the veggie garden. What are their favorite veggies to eat? Herbs? Would they like a special space to play and experiment with? Something new and unusual to harvest -- purple cauliflower, white baby pumpkin, speckled snake gourd, 'Moulin Rouge' sunflower? Maybe even a chair and beach umbrella!

Give a Rose or Tree for Valentine's Day

A flower bouquet is lovely and romantic...albeit fleeting. Socks and tools are, well, practical. Instead, tuck a gift card for a rose or tree in a box of chocolates, to be chosen and planted when the weather breaks. What's more romantic than an evening browsing tree and rose catalogs together? Scratch that. However you do it, have fun choosing and planting your favorites with your sweetheart.

Repot Rootbound Houseplants

You know that roots have likely filled the pot if you're watering, but your houseplants are dry or the water quickly flows out the bottom. It's time to repot. Buy a larger pot and soilless-mix. Carefully remove the rootball. Tease out the roots. If they're too thick or dense, cut away the edges with a sharp knife and loosen the roots. Replant in the larger pot. Fill with potting mix within an inch of the pot rim. Water well. Add more mix as it settles among the roots.

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