Southern Coasts

January, 2001
Regional Report

Plant Fruits


Look around the garden for a place to plant a fruit tree this winter. Fruit trees accomplish two tasks: They're often great landscape plants, and you can eat their produce. Replace a shade tree with a jujube, or add spring flowers to your landscape with a crabapple, mayhaw, or pear tree. Grow delicious pineapple guava, Japanese plum, and figs for their fruits and great leaf texture.

Planning for Roses


If you can grow tomatoes, you can grow roses. To get ready to plant them, amend a sunny site with organic matter (compost and ground bark), lime, and slow-release fertilizer. Here are some of my favorite easy roses to grow: 'The Fairy', 'Cecile Brunner', 'Fuchsia Meidilland', and 'Red Cascade'.

Care for Tools


Now is the time to get your power tools in shape for the coming season. Sharpen your mower blade or replace it if it's badly nicked. Take your sputtering mower engine to the shop for a tuneup and pick up replacement handle covers for better gripping this spring.

Cut Back Buddleias

Cut butterfly bushes down to the ground now, especially if you haven\'t done any pruning in a couple of years, or if last year\'s flowers weren\'t superb. A severe pruning will stimulate new growth and more flowers next year. Fertilize at the first sign of new growth.

Propagate Hydrangeas


Try my grandmother's method for propagating French hydrangeas (H. macrophylla). Cut the bushes down now and stick the cuttings directly into the ground near the mother plant. If a cutting takes, it will sprout new growth about the same time the established shrubs start growing this spring.

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