Coastal and Tropical South

December, 2013
Regional Report

Prolong Broccoli and Brussel Sprout Harvest

The beauty of growing your own broccoli and Brussels sprouts has to be their resprouting habit. Cut the tops off the broccoli and harvest the first mature Brussels sprouts, but don't give up on the plants. Most broccoli will send up smaller side shoots, and the smaller Brussels sprouts will enlarge.

Care for Sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua blooms from October through Christmas. When the flowers fall off, rake them up. Then prune the plants (whether shrubs or tree forms) to stimulate new growth. Use an oil spray if the upper leaf surfaces have yellow splotches, as sign of scale infestation.

Replace Decomposing Pine Straw Mulch

Rake back the pine straw mulch to see the white strings running through it, which are called "mycelium," the result of wonderful rot-causing organisms. Because they indicate the straw is decomposing, it's time to rake out and replace the straw. Chop it before adding it to the compost pile.

Keep African Violets Cool

Heated rooms sometimes bring out the worst pests to plague African violets -- mites. Symptoms include few and deformed flowers, dull leaves, and eventually a ruined crown. To avoid this fatal problem, keep African violets in cooler parts of your house, or put a fan near them on low speed.

Care for Daffodils

There's still time to plant daffodils, and time to care for those already in the ground. They'll be sprouting shortly, so plan to feed new leaves with a balanced fertilizer. Most granular products require only one application, but if you prefer to mix one in water, use it twice monthly until they bloom.

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