Lower South

January, 2013
Regional Report

Plant Cole Crop Transplants

Set out transplants of broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, collards, and kale in the garden this month. Water the transplants in with a soluble fertilizer solution to get them off to a good, fast start. When a hard freeze threatens, cover the transplants overnight for a little added protection. Although they may survive a cold snap unprotected, the cover will prevent damage and keep them growing their fastest for better, earlier harvests.

Mulch Beds to Smother Weeds

If weed seedlings are emerging in your vegetable or flower beds you can shut them down by covering them with a layer of mulch deep enough to block sunlight from reaching the weeds. For an added weed killing cover start with 4 sheets of newspaper and spray with water to hold in place. Then cover with enough leaves to hide the newspaper. The newspaper will decompose over time like the leaves or other natural mulching materials.

Plant Fruit and Nut Trees

Mid to late winter is the time to plant bare root fruit and nut trees. It is also a great time to plant container grown fruit trees, shrubs, and vines. Provide fruit plants a location with at least six hours of sun and good soil drainage to prevent waterlogged roots during rainy spells. Check with your local Extension Office for species and cultivars that perform well in your area prior to making your investment in plants. Remember to ask whether the species you are considering needs more than one cultivar or variety planted for cross pollination.

Plant Onion Transplants

This month is the time to plant onion transplants in the Lower South. Mix in one cup of high nitrogen fertilizer per 25 square feet of soil surface prior to planting. Choose transplants that are pencil sized or a little smaller and plant them so the base is about an inch below the soil surface. Water them in well and maintain moderate soil moisture as the plants become established over the coming weeks. Fertilize them again four weeks after planting to encourage rapid growth.

Plant Cool Season Flowers

Transplants of cool season flowers including pansies, violas, snapdragons, alyssum, stock, and dianthus can all be planted now for a late winter to spring show. Water transplants in with a soluble fertilizer solution and then water as needed to maintain moist soil as the plants extend their roots and become well established. Cover the young transplants during a hard freeze to prevent damage or loss of the more tender species.

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