Lower South

December, 2012
Regional Report

Remove Tree Stakes and Wires

Trees that were planted and staked during the past winter through spring season should be well established by now and no longer require stakes and wires to restrict movement. Remove all wires and stakes to prevent injury to the trunk and to allow the trunk to move in the wind. This movement will result in a stronger trunk over time.

Plant Cool Season Flower Beds

There is still time to plant violas, pansies, and ornamental cabbage and kale in flower beds to provide winter color. Water the new transplants in with a soluble fertilizer solution and fertilize at least four more times at one to two week intervals. Cover the plants when freezes are forecast to help get them off to a faster start.

Cleanup around Fruit Trees

Pick up and discard fallen fruit and fruit that is left dried but still attached to your apple, pear, peach and plum trees. This will remove potential sources of disease organisms and, in some cases, insects that infest the fruit. If there are any dead twigs or branches in the tree prune these out below the dead area and dispose of the prunings.

Plant Kale and Related Vegetables

It isn't too late to plant the cole crops, which include kale, broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, and collards. Be ready to provide the plants with a protective cover during a freeze to prevent them from being set back. Fertilize weekly for a month or two after planting to encourage vigor.

Control Cool Season Weeds Now

Cool season weeds have sprouted and will be growing very slowly over the next couple of months. This is a good time to hand pull or hoe them out of flower beds, vegetable gardens, or turf areas. The small weeds are easy to remove from the soil -- much easier than in spring when their growth rate takes off like a rocket!

Donate Today

The Garden in Every School Initiative

Shop Our Fall Catalog

— ADVERTISEMENTS —