Lower South

December, 2011
Regional Report

Create Fresh Wreaths

There are many landscape materials that can be used to create beautiful wreaths, table centerpieces and swags. Hobby stores carry special foam or metal framework onto which evergreen branches, berrying plants, and dried landscape or roadside plant materials can be attached to build an attractive addition to the home.

Build A Leaf Storage Bin

Leaf season is upon us and this means a deluge of fallen foliage, which we gardeners know is great for composting and mulching. Create a place to stockpile plenty of extra leaves while they are plentiful for use in composting and mulching later. A large circle of mesh wire works great. You can press the leaves down as you add more to make space for an amazing amount of leaves in a given storage space.

Clean Up Tools for Storage

Remove soil from garden tool. Check for rust, and oil the tools well to provide a protective coating over all of the metal surfaces before storing them for winter. If wooden handles are rough, sand them with a fine grain (150 or 200 grit) sandpaper and then wipe them with linseed oil or another wood protecting oil.

Care for Houseplants

Check houseplants to make sure their growing medium is not too dry or too wet. If they are located where a heat draft might be affecting them, move them to a new spot. Also consider how much light they are getting. Winter light levels are typically low, and indoors it is especially difficult for plants to receive adequate lighting. A move to a brighter spot will really help keep houseplants strong and attractive.

Start Cool Season Vegetable Transplants

This is a good time to start transplants of broccoli, kale, and other cool season vegetables indoors. Provide a spot with plenty of light, and if the area is cold, consider purchasing a seed warming mat. Transplants started now will be ready to plant out in the garden in mid to late January for a head start on the late winter to spring garden season.

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