Lower South

May, 2003
Regional Report

Consider Colors When Planning Beds

I\'ll be the last to make \"rules\" about gardening, but here are some thoughts to consider about color. Mixed colors are interesting up close but lose their distinction when viewed from a distance. Large, bold swaths of color are more striking from a distance. Also, darker colors like purple and dark red get lost in the foliage when not offset by lighter colors.

Prune Out Cold-Damaged Branches


We hardly had a winter here in the south, but we did have a fairly late cold snap that caught many plants on their way out for spring. The damaged areas are now becoming apparent, so this is the time to take the pruners and remove dead and damaged branches back to healthy living areas. Some damage may still not show up for another month or two when warmer temperatures arrive.
We hardly have a winter here in the south but we did have a fairly late cold snap that caught many plants on their way out for spring. The damaged areas are now becoming apparent, so this is the time to take the pruners and remove dead and damaged branches back to healthy living areas. Some damage may still not show up for another month or two when warmer temperatures arrive.

Mix Plants in Containers for Added Interest

Combine 3 or more different types of plants to add interest to a large planting container. Begin with a tall central specimen flowering or foliage plant. Then add smaller flowering annuals around it. Finally, include a trailer, such as trailing petunias or alyssum, around the sides.

Prune Trees That Lost Fruit


Fruit trees that lost this year's crop to the late cold spell will tend to be extra vigorous this year. They'll need less, if any, fertilizer and some minor pruning in late spring and early summer to keep them from becoming overgrown. Sunlight needs to reach into the lower parts of the plant to keep it healthy and ready for next year's fruiting.

Let Wildflowers Go to Seed


Our spring wildflowers are setting seeds now. If you have a mini-meadow or other such area with wildflowers, avoid mowing them until they have had a chance to disperse their seeds. If you want to save seeds, collect the seed structures as they just begin to turn brown and place them in a tall, open paper sack to dry. This way when the pods open the seeds will stay within the sack. Many types can fling seed quite a distance!

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