Middle South

December, 2012
Regional Report

Fertilize Carefully

Pansies and violas like plenty of food, but be cautious. I use fertilizer at half strength and keep a sharp eye on the weather, making every effort to avoid encouraging a flush of new growth before a severe cold spell.

Update your Garden Journal

Wrap up your garden photographs and notes for the year. If you've let your entries slide, catch up now before you forget the most important material. A well-kept journal provides a wealth of information for coming years.

Remove Fall Leaves Before They Mat Down

Rake or blow autumn leaves out of beds before they begin to mat down and prevent water penetration. Leaves make an excellent soil topping or additive, but only if they've been composted or partially decomposed into leaf mulch.

Cut Rose Canes

If hybrid rose shrubs are dormant, cut back canes to a length of about 3 feet so they won't whip in the winter winds and damage the shrub's crown and roots. If weather has remained warm and calm, delay cutting.

Make a Garden Wish List

Seed and plant catalogs should begin arriving any day so begin your list of must-haves for the coming season. If you have your heart set on a big-ticket item, such as a fountain or bench, you might want to leave your list were Santa can find it.

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