Mid-Atlantic

January, 2002
Regional Report

Seed Starting Calendar

Many popular annual and vegetable transplants only require six to eight weeks\' head start indoors, but some need longer -- such as petunias, geraniums and many perennials. Check your favorite gardening reference or the seed packet for recommendations. Count backwards from your average last spring frost date. Now mark your calendar for when to start each kind of seed.

Organize Your Seed Collection

As you place and receive orders and shop for seeds at the garden center, you may find yourself buried in an assortment of packets. Try organizing them in a shoe box with dividers. Sort them by estimated starting date, by type, or alphabetically. Experiment to develop a system that works for you.

Lighten Up!


Ordinary fluorescent shop lights with one "warm" and one "cool" bulb will suffice for growing seedlings. To maximize the available light, dust the bulbs occasionally. The bulbs are brightest at the middle and dimmer at the ends, so rotate your plants regularly to even out their exposure to the light.

Shape Up Your Lawn


Can you redesign lawn areas to simplify your mowing pattern? Sharp corners, narrow strips, small radius curves, surface tree roots and steep hills all make mowing more difficult. Steps such as reshaping, consolidating plantings into a single island bed, replacing grass with a ground cover, and installing quality edgings can help. Plan now for next summer!

Overgrown House Plants


Prepare now for spring repotting by locating needed pots and supplies. Try to match the texture and type of new potting soil to the original. Use a pot just slightly larger than the current container. Take care not to over water the plant once it is in its new quarters.

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