Middle South

October, 2012
Regional Report

Sleep Sound with an Herbal Pillow

If you have trouble sleeping, you might look to herbs for help. In fact, Abraham Lincoln, who was plagued by dark moods and sleepless nights, believed a pillow stuffed with hops blossoms provided some relief. Today, smaller pillows made to be placed near the head usually include rose or rose geranium petals, lavender, and lemon balm.

Extend Basil Season

Before frost, take cuttings from your basil plants and bring them inside and place them in a glass of water. Once they grow sufficient roots, pot them up and cultivate them in a sunny windowsill.

Water for Warmth

Did you know wet soil and humid air hold more heat than dry soil and air? They do! You can increase protection from an early frost by watering your garden when the first cold snap is expected.

Plant for Winter Blooms

While you're planting trees and shrubs, remember to select a few that bloom in winter. Good choices include winter daphne (Daphne odora), witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima), winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum), and Japanese flowering apricot (Prunus mume).

Create Drifts of Bulbs

If you want to establish drifts of bulbs, rather than random groupings, select well-known varieties that are noted to "naturalize," which means they will gradually increase in number on their own. Then, when you plant, give them room to spread by allowing more than the usual amount of space between bulbs.

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