Start planting hanging baskets and window boxes now. Look for the water soluble granules to add to soil
where drying conditions are most common. When planning these containers remember to plant like specimens
(shade lovers together, sun basking varieties together). Consider containers with succulent varieties - utilizing
strawberry planters with those little pockets. Well drained soil with gravel is essential when planting succulents.
Plant caladiums and divide iris if necessary. Consider planting iris around your fish pond if you have one,
and accent with a specimen rock. The contrast of sword like fronds, craggy rock and smooth water is quite striking.
Plant sweet potatoes, tomatoes and peppers. Mulch beds lightly to discourage weeds and help keep soil moist.
To keep cutworms from fragile young tomatoes, put collars around each plant partially buried about 2 inches. Cutworms
tend to be in the upper two inches of soil. Continue planting those vegetables you enjoy most. Companion planting
with marigolds and society garlic will help offset pests.
Look for “French Tarragon” for best flavor, or substitute Mexican mint marigold for variety. Scatter rocks and
accent pieces among the herb plants for visual effect and interest. When among your herbs, take time to pinch leaves
and enjoy the mingling aromas. Oyster shells scattered between herb plants make a nice visual addition. Clean shells
by soaking in water with bleach for a few days and allow several days to dry in the sun. If the shells are unusually interesting
I seal them with crystal clear gloss enamel spray.x
Continue raking (don’t we love this chore?). Water if necessary. A few weeks after your warm season
lawn turns green apply about one pound of nitrogen per 1000 feet of lawn. This will encourage growth and allow
you to start mowing again! (We mustn’t miss the opportunity to exercise in the yard.)
Flowers & Vegetables:
Feed with a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Spray with Malathion or Volck Oil Spray for protection.
And consider using a slow release granular fertilizer when preparing soil for planting. In the vegetable patch,
fertilize and plant okra and sweet potatoes. Plant vinca major – periwinkle, (minor doesn’t do well here)
After Easter Lilies fade and leaves fall, allow soil to dry, then plant in your garden. Cover with heavy
mulch from fall until spring. Although they won’t bloom for Easter next year, you will have white lilies in late
spring or early summer. Plant spider lilies and other tender lilies now. By the way, have you checked out the
Day Lily Farm on St. Helena? It is an amazing place as is the wonderful woman who designed it!!
Lightly fertilize, after foliage dies down let it dry before removing from plant.
Mulch & Prune:
Replace old mulch around camellias and azaleas to prevent insect & fungus growth. Prune out any
sickly or dead growth from shrubs after blooms are spent.
Also this month: You might want to consider a trip to Savannah for the Garden Exposition April 17-19 at
The Roundhouse Railroad Museum situated near the Visitors Center (website: http://www.savannahgardenexpo.com/).
Also in Ridgeland at the Blue Heron Nature Trail Learning Center, exit 21 just off Rt. 95 on April 25th, from 9AM to 2 PM,
The Ivy Garden Club of Ridgeland will have their 12th Annual Lawn and Garden Festival -- a wonderful venue for finding
unique plants and yard art along with other garden treasurers.
If you know of any garden related events you would like posted, let me know. Happy gardening!
Cut liriope to ground level with mower or hedge shears before new shoots emerge.
Pampas grass should be pruned about 6 inches from the ground and debris removed.
Take soil samples and test for correct fertilizer. The Clemson Extension Service provides testing services for a small fee. (Website: http://hgic.clemson.edu) When new growth starts, fertilize according to directions.
Plant ajuga, English ivy, and periwinkle so they will be well established before summer.
Remember these are aggressive growers and will wander relentlessly throughout the garden.
Keep an eye on them!
Trees & Shrubs
Plant bare-rooted and balled/burlap trees before new growth starts (remember to cut string
or wire around burlap balls so roots can expand quicker). Spray fruit trees and azaleas before buds open.
Fertilize camellias when finished blooming (10-10-10 is good choice), but do not cultivate soil as roots are shallow.
Prune nandina, cutting out 1/3 of the canes each year to insure fullness. Prune spring flowering shrubs after they have finished blooming.
For hybrid tea and floribunda roses, most people prefer to prune in early spring when new growth is beginning, but before the leaves start to expand. Moisten ground before applying about 2 inches of mulch, but keep it clear of trunk stems.
~ Betsi Hilton – Lady’s Island Garden Club
January is a great time to check your soil. Send samples to Clemson Extension or
ask your local garden center for help. There are several soil testing kits on the market now for those ‘do-it-yourselfers’ who prefer to really get their hands dirty.
Plant fruit trees, crepe myrtle, abelia, red bud, dogwood, viburnum, eponymous,
mahonia and althea. (Pink dogwood rarely does well here). Plant wisteria in sunny location,plan to prune often.
Fertilize, remove smaller bud (when there are 2 together) and “gib” if you plan to
show blooms in upcoming shows.
Enjoy those seed catalogs and visiting garden centers for the planning of your Spring
& Summer gardens. You can sow seeds of larkspur, poppy and dill for spring flowers.
After sprinkling seeds over a well prepared bed, water gently so seeds wash into soil crevices.
Do not mulch, they need the warmth of the sun to ‘hatch’. Sow tomato, pepper and eggplant seeds in hot beds now. As for vegetables – plant asparagus, beets, cabbage, lettuce, onions, peas,radishes and turnips. (Start collecting new recipes so at harvest time you have a fresh crop and new menu ideas!)
Keep varieties of seeds available in feeders, along with suet, corn and other treats.
Clean bird baths of debris, add fresh wa ter at least twice weekly.
Christmas trees that have been cut will benefit from having a couple of additional inches sawed off their trunks to open water channels cl ogged by sap. Keep trees in water, check often and replenish when necessary.
Consider buying live trees if your yard could use a leafy evergreen specimen.
When pruning hollies and other evergreens, think of using branches for holiday decorating (two uses -- one cutting).
To make gift plants more festive, plant in larger pot and combine with miniature ivy and Dallas ferns.
Try adding Spanish moss and pinecones as accents. Add tiny envelopes of seeds from your garden to your holiday cards.
Remember poinsettias like a sunny location with 60-70 degrees temps and uniform moisture.
They make great gifts, and can be planted soon. (Tulips and other spring flowering bulbs are available now).
Plant asparagus, cabbage, beets, carrots and lettuce now. Clean and oil garden tools, and have lawn mower serviced
Damage to camellias & azaleas may not show up until after Spring. A few weeks after freeze, scratch bark of evergreens & prune back to live healthy wood.
“Jack Frost” arrives this month, around November 16th. Not only will he be ‘nipping at your nose as the song goes’,
but you should be prepare for his arrival by mulching plants that need ‘nip’ protection.
Water just before and after frost to minimize damage to foliage.
In anticipation of another garden, use leaves, pine needles, and other organic material in a 6-8 inch layer in the
area you plan to plant. This ‘blanket’ will kill the grass and after several weeks can be turned into the soil to help
build up the nutrients and texture for Spring planting.
If you have a fish pond, it is time to remove fallen leaves that have settled into the pond.
They rob the water of oxygen as they decompose. Fish should be able to ‘overwinter’ in the pond.
Feed sparingly as they will go semi dormant during this time.
Rake debris from grass, lawns need light to survive.
Transplant to pots any cool sensitive plants that can winter over inside.
Spray for flower blight and tea scale. To prevent blight from spreading, spray flowers with benomyl every
3 days, and discard dropped flowers. After plant has flowered, replace old mulch.
Divide and transplant amaryllis. Pot bulbs for winter house plants. After cannas die, cut off at ground level.