Middle South

December, 2011
Regional Report

Give Plants as Holiday Gifts

Showy poinsettias are always a welcome holiday gift, but there are also other winter bloomers to choose from. Consider amaryllis, a bulb that will usually produces several large flowers; cyclamen, which actually likes the season's cooler indoor temperatures; and kalanchoes, which are easy to keep from year to year.

Capture Seeds with Bag-A-Weed

To remove weeds that tend to scatter their seeds, create a handy bag-a-weed from a long, plastic newspaper bag. Simply put your arm into one of the bags, pull the weed with your plastic-sheathed hand, then use the other hand to pull the bag down over the plant before releasing your grip on the weed. This same technique is also useful for the removal of poisonous plants or those that might cause a rash.

Stay Healthy with Herbs

For added health benefits, mix a teaspoon of chopped herbs into a serving of fruit or vegetable juice. For example, basil with tomato juice will ease a headache, cranberry juice with ginger or rosemary will relieve nausea, and apple juice with sage or thyme is good for a sore throat.

Create an Outdoor Space for Relaxing

Most of us have a favorite room in our home, so it makes sense to create an outdoor haven that will nurture the same sense of security and serenity. Select comfy seating, position it where you'll have a pleasant view and the amount of sunlight you crave, and then ornament your special spot with a container garden of fragrant plants.

Edge Lawns for Manicured Appearance

Even when well-cared for, a lawn will look untidy if it has uneven edges. In the next few weeks, while the weather is cool and the soil is moist from autumn rains, trim lawn edges using a board as a guide. The board will ensure a precision-like line and will also support your weight as you slice into the lawn with a spade or half-moon edger.

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Special Report - Garden to Table

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