Southern Coasts

February, 2001
Regional Report

Selectively Prune

Don\'t prune flowering shrubs until after they bloom. Resist the urge to tame tall azaleas, effusive weigela, and overgrown spireas. Also, don\'t cut yourself short on summer flowers like oleander and gardenia. Once those have bloomed, the shrubs begin to make next year\'s flowers within a month, so prune within that time period.

Prepare Beds for Planting

Get annual flower, vegetable, and new shrub beds ready to plant during windows of dry weather. Then, even a wet spring won\'t delay planting. Add organic matter, fertilizer, lime if needed, and a bit of sand if your soil needs lightening. Dig it or till it in.


Plant Peas

Try planting green, edible-podded, and snow peas and nasturtiums now. Even if you plant bush or short varieties, still build a trellis. You\\\'ll find that leaves will be kept clean above the mulch, and wet spring soil can support more flowers and pods.

Start Mowing

If you planted ryegrass last fall as an overseeded winter lawn crop, you\'re already mowing. Otherwise, wait until the lawngrass greens up to cut it. St. Augustine greens up before centipede grass, Bermuda before zoysia - be patient. Start the season with the mower deck set at the lowest recommended setting, then move up a notch, cutting the grass higher, every other month.


Move Roses


If you planted a climbing rose on a little trellis and it grew right over it last year, you can either cut it back every year to fit the trellis or move it now. To transplant it, cut the rose off the trellis, but leave as much cane as you can handle for transplanting. Dig a deep hole, amend the soil with compost, and transplant the rose. Keep it well watered and build a larger trellis to accommodate its vigorous growth.

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