Coastal and Tropical South

February, 2014
Regional Report

Check Mulch

Whether you're pruning camellias, cutting down cannas, or cleaning up debris in the garden after winter's storm, take time to check the mulch. Work in what's begun to rot, remove any that's matted down, and add a fresh layer about an inch deep around perennial crowns and the base of shrubs.

Plant Potatoes

February is potato planting month in these parts. Look for southern varieties like 'La Soda'. Work up the soil and put a pile of leaves nearby. Plant potatoes just below the soil surface, and when they sprout, begin pulling leaves up around the stem. Flowers above mean new potatoes below, so dig some tender little taters when you see blooms. Leave the rest of the crop to mature to full size to be harvested later in the season.

Getting the Most Out of Quince

For a brief week, flowering quince gets a jump on spring with flowers in classic peach, red, or white. Some consider quince too unreliable and too brief in bloom to plant. Use it as a background to the annual bed for early color, and prune right after flowering to ensure next year's crop of flowers is a good one.

Make More Spiders

Spider plants often burst out with babies on long stems in winter. Indoors or out, it's time to make more. Once small roots have emerged from the babies, cut the stems from the mother plant and pot them for spring.

Prune Butterfly Bush

If that butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii)

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