You can plant vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, parsley, spinach, corn, collards, beans, eggplant, cucumber, squash, endive, kohlrabi, turnips, radishes, lettuce, celery, beets, broccoli, onions, potatoes, peas, cauliflower, mustard, Chinese cabbage and cabbage. Annuals such as marigold, salvia, vinca, impatiens, nasturtiums, cosmos, celosia, gloriosa daisy, portulaca, ageratum, begonia, dianthus, petunia, alyssum, candytuft and hollyhock can also be planted. Woody plants can be set out now if there is an adequate water supply. Most bulbs can be put out now such as canna, agapanthus, tuberose, caladium, eucharis, calla, daylily, amaryllis, allium, lily, rain lily, montbretia, watsonia, crinum and ginger.
Scale and mealybugs are active now. Check sago palms, hibiscus, ixora, gardenia, copperleaf and chenille plant for activity. Tomatoes have hornworms and various fungal/wilt problems. Keep the foliage dry and water in the morning only. Wet weather aggravates these conditions. Spider mites continue to be busy, particularly if plants are located under eaves. Hose off leaves to blast the pests off.
If a freeze is expected, water plants thoroughly the day before. Pull mulch back from plants so warmth from the soil will radiate up to the plants. Leave dead leaves and branches in place to protect the plants from future possible cold snaps. Remove dead leaves and branches in mid-March when cold weather is past.
|spread rapidly. The
clereodendroms are also rapid spreaders, but are pretty if restrained.
Snowbush is another sneaky customer that drops suckers all over the place.
Be leery of the big vines such as sky vine, air potato, moon vine, wood
rose etc. that can cover telephone poles and climb through dog doors.
PLANT OF THE MONTH
Brazilian Red Cloak (Megaskepasma erythrochlamys)
This plant has an unfortunate name _ Brazilian Red Cloak — hardly helpful
for its marketing. The scientific name is even worse — Megaskepasma
erythrochlamys. Despite the unappealing names, this is an attractive
shrub. Its large glossy oval pointed leaves are topped by red spires of
bloom from late fall through early summer. It can bloom all year with good
fertilization. But be careful where you plant it. Its big leaves wilt easily
and are pale green in full sun. The same plant in moist shade is spectacular.
The only disadvantage is the size of this big grower — 15 feet tall and
10 feet across is not impossible. The density of the shrub quickly eliminates
objectionable views. Plant 6-8 feet apart for fast results.
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