Lower South

January, 2001
Regional Report

Keep Planting Greens


Continue to seed lettuce, spinach, arugula (or roquette), Chinese cabbage, and Swiss chard in the garden. By planting a small section every 2 weeks you'll always have fresh greens for your salads and sandwiches. Cover tender seedlings when temperatures drop into the mid to upper 20sF at night.


Start Warm-Season Seeds

Seeds of most spring and summer annual flowers and vegetables can be sown indoors in late January for transplanting into the garden after the danger of frost is past. Give seedlings plenty of light. Two fluorescent fixtures (one warm, one cool) with two light tubes each placed a few inches above the soil surface will help keep seedlings from becoming spindly.


Plant Gladiolus


Select and purchase gladiolus corms for February or March planting. Prepare the soil by mixing a couple of inches of compost into the beds. Build raised beds if the area lacks good water drainage. Plant corms at 2-week intervals to extend the flowering period.


Prune Spring-Flowering Shrubs


Spring-flowering woody ornamentals such as azalea, quince, forsythia, spirea, redbud, dogwood, deciduous magnolia, and fringe tree should be pruned after they bloom in spring. Pruning now removes flower buds and reduces the blooming spring show! Hydrangeas, which flower between seasons, are best pruned after the flowers fade in midsummer.


Prune Roses


Roses such as hybrid teas and floribundas that repeat bloom through the season should be pruned just before spring growth in late winter. Once-blooming roses, such as many of the climbing roses, should be pruned after their spring to early summer blooms have gone by.


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