New Additions With Prepping Rose Beds

Roses are best planted in late November, December and January. Many new varieties are not ready for shipment until after the first of the year. For the Lower South special attention should be given to the preparation of the soil. Roses don’t like very sandy soils. So, make sandy soils more retentive by adding peat. Use plenty of rotted manure for both fertility and humus. Mulch with pine straw or peat.

Many Lilies are ready for planting-regale, centifolium, tiger, Philippine, the many new hybrids, speciosum rubrum, auratum. Old lily stems that have finished their growth should be cut back to ground level. Destroy them. Stems often carry insects and diseases through the winter.

Perennials have finished growing by this time. Clean up mums, phlox and others by cutting back old tops to the ground. Burly to prevent the spread of pests next spring. Many perennials can also be set out in the Lower South. Try the giant Improved Shasta Daisy for size. It’s the biggest daisy I have ever seen. It is too bad it won’t grow well farther north.

Dahlias – When the leaves turn black and wilt cut back the tops to a few inches above the ground. After a few days lift the clumps carefully with a spading fork. Turn the clumps upside down and leave on top of the soil for a day or two if weather permits to let any excess moisture drain out of the stems. Remove the dried dirt and pack tubers in peatmoss, sand or vermiculite. Keep in a cool place (40 degrees) until spring.

Hardy Annual Seeds are best planted now in the Upper South. Plant late enough to keep them from starting growth before cold weather but early enough to germinate and start very early in the spring. This applies to sweet peas, larkspur, poppies, California poppies, Phlox drummondi and cornflowers. Plant larkspur in tulip and daffodil beds. It will hide the fpliage after the bulbs have finished blooming.

For the Lower South plant ageratum, alyssum, arctotis, babysbreath, calendula, California poppy, candy-tuft, carnation, clarkia, cornflower, dimorphotheca, forget-me-not, gaillardia, godetia, hunnemannia, linaria, linum, mignonette, nasturtium, nemophila, pansy, petunia, periwinkle, phlox, poppy, Queen Anne’s lace, scabiosa, snapdragon, statice, sweet pea, sweet william, verbena and viola. In Texas include bluebonnets.

Early-Flowering Camellias and anthurium flamingo flower in the Lower South can be given their first feeding in late November or early December after they finish blooming. Use a special camellia food, a small handful for an 18-inch plant to 2 pounds for a 4 to 6-foot one is about right.

Seaside Shrubs – Ones that really tolerate salt spray and some brackish water include raphiolepis, elaeagnus, pittosporum, ligustrum, yucca and the century plant. Native palms are also good where height is needed. Others good for seashore planting in protected areas are : bottlebrush, Ilex vomitoria, junipers, oleander, palms, podocarpus, bananashrub, crapemyrtle and euonymus. In more tropical areas, kumquat and calamondin may be included.

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