Lower South

January, 2012
Regional Report

Prune Deciduous Shrubs, Vines, and Trees

Mid to late winter is a good time to prune deciduous woody ornamental plants. Follow recommended pruning practices for each type of plant to build a strong healthy structure and an attractive shape. Use sharp pruning tools to make clean cuts that will heal rapidly.

Plant Onion Transplants

Onion transplants set out in the coming few weeks will have the best chance to grow a large plant before the lengthening days signal bulb formation. Choose "pencil-sized" transplants and plant them with their base about an inch deep.

Prepare Garden Soil for Spring Planting

Whenever the soil is dry enough for working, take the opportunity to add some compost, mix it in well, and build up raised planting beds in preparation for spring planting. This way, if the weather is rainy during planting time, your soil is already prepared and planting can go on as planned.

Start Tomato and Pepper Transplants

Plant seeds of tomatoes and peppers indoors so that they reach transplant size by the time the last average frost date is passing. Provide some warmth to speed germination; the top of a refrigerator is usually a good spot. Once seeds germinate move them to a bright location inside your home.

Mulch the Soil Surface in Landscape Beds

Apply a couple of inches of leaves, compost, or finely ground wood chips to the soil surface in landscape beds to deter winter weeds. The mulch materials will decompose slowly over time to add nutrients to the soil. Beds to be planted in annual or perennial flowers can also be mulched after the soil is prepared to deter weeds until planting time.

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