Middle South

January, 2012
Regional Report

Recycle Torn Row Covers

After years of use, row covers can become worse for the wear, but don't throw them away. Instead, recycle them into individual plant covers by cutting usable sections into squares. When needed for weather or insect protection, simply secure the cover around plants with several clip-type clothespins.

Give Lemonade a Seasonal Twist

For a refreshing surprise that suits the season, make lemonade with rosemary infused syrup. Just simmer one heaping tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves with one cup of water and one cup sugar for five minutes, then drain and cool. Mix the rosemary syrup with four cups of water and the juice of four lemons. Serve over ice with a rosemary sprig for garnish.

Dress Concrete Block Walls

Concrete wall systems offer an affordable and easy-to-construct option for gardeners who want to build their own retaining walls, but they are not as aesthetically pleasing as natural rock. Appearance can be easily improved, however, with the addition of a finishing cap of bluestone or another natural material. Use stone that is slightly wider than the concrete block to dress the top of the wall, then adhere the stone to the block with a wet mix of concrete slurry.

Choose a New Lettuce

If you want to try something different in the vegetable garden this spring, look no further than salad greens. Consider any number of new varieties of leaf lettuce, as well as mesclun, arugula, rocket, spinach, radicchio, and chicory. One of my favorites is 'Little Gem', a part romaine and part butterhead lettuce which is crisp and sweet.

Know Catalog Lingo

Flowering plants that vary in their length of bloom, such as roses, are described by a number of confusing terms in nursery catalogs. If described as nonrecurrent, the plant will put on one good show; if remontant, it will bloom and rest before flowers return for an encore; if recurring, blooms will come in waves; and if everblooming, it will flower for much of the period between spring and fall. Repeat bloom is a vague term, but indicates at least two bloom periods in a year, and perhaps more with favorable conditions.

Our Mission in Action

Shop Our Holiday Catalog