Lower South

February, 2011
Regional Report

Cut Back Ragged Evergreen Groundcovers

Groundcover plants including liriope, English ivy, jasmine, and cast iron plant can become less attractive as the effects of winter, pests, and disease spots detract from their normal green color. You can cut them back to the ground or mow them back if possible. They will regrow and soon fresh new green growth will replace the tattered, old foliage.

Plant Onions

Now is a good time to put out onion transplants in the garden. These pencil sized transplants should be planted so the base is about 1 inch deep. Water them in well and fertilize them every few weeks to keep them growing rapidly.

Purchase Easy Orchids

Moth orchids, or phalaenopsis as they are properly called, are among the easiest orchids to grow. An area with bright but indirect sunlight and some periodic watering is all they need to make it through the year. They are blooming now and on sale in stores across the Lower South, so give one a try. There are plenty of online instructions for how to care for these plants and how to promote reblooming next year.

Remove Cool Season Lawn Weeds

Cool season weeds are starting to put on their late winter to spring growth push. If you have only small areas of the yard where these weeds are showing up, it's a good idea to hand pull them now before they start to set and mature viable seeds. This is also true for these weeds in flower and garden beds.

Replenish Bed Mulches

Warm season weeds will be starting to sprout in a couple of months or less in some areas of the Lower South. Replenish mulch in your garden beds to keep the seeds of these invaders shaded out and prevent problems later on. Whether you use decorative bark or shredded leaves, a mulch layer on the surface will also protect the soil from crusting and reduce erosion.

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