Lower South

February, 2012
Regional Report

Fertilize Cool Season Flowers

Cool season flowering plants including pansies, violas, stock, snapdragons, alyssum, and dianthus will benefit from some added nutrition to encourage new growth and more blooms. Apply a compete fertilizer around the plants according to the label rate. Then "scratch" it into the surface inch of soil to avoid damaging plant roots and water it in well.

Apply Dormant Oil Sprays

Dormant oil sprays smother scale and insect eggs on fruit and deciduous ornamental plants. If scale are present on your plants these sprays should be applied prior to the emergence of new growth to avoid damage to the newly emerging leaves and blooms. Follow label instructions carefully and don't apply oil within a day of a freeze.

Plant Potatoes

There is still time to plant potatoes. Slice up seed potatoes, leaving a bud or "eye" on each piece. Set them in a well-ventilated area for a few days to allow the cut surface to dry and then plant outdoors in the garden.

Start Warm Season Squash Transplants

Although it is too early to plant squash and cucumbers outdoors, you can get a head start on the growing season by starting them as transplants indoors about 3-4 weeks before the last average frost date in your area.

Control Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats can become a problem on houseplants and greenhouse plants. Control them by allowing the surface of the growing media to dry out between waterings. If they persist, there is a form of B.t. known as the "israelensis" strain in the garden trade that will provide a natural option for controlling these pests in their larval stage.

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