The Start Of The Southern Vegetables

Frost is in the air in the Middle and Upper South. This is the time to think seriously about planting the hundreds of different kinds of shrubs, trees and fruits, for after the middle of November these plants make their appearance in seed and garden center stores. Balled and burlapped plants are the first to be featured. Then the bare-rooted deciduous shrubs, trees and fruits follow in great quantities. Roses, too, are offered everywhere but don’t be in a hurry to plant them. There is still plenty of time. December and January are also good planting months.

Vegetable Gardening is at its lowest ebb in the Upper South where lettuce, cabbage, onion and lettuce seeds can be started in coldframes for transplanting to the garden later on. In the Middle South you can plant, in addition to the above, endive, kale, lettuce, radish, spinach, rape and onion sets directly into the garden. In the Lower South beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, collards, Swiss chard, endive, kale, lettuce, onions, parsley, English peas, radishes, rape, rutabaga, spinach and turnips can still be planted.

Hotbeds are handy to have close by the kitchen door. Even a coldframe can be planted to radishes, green onions, parsley, carrots, beets and lettuce to be pulled from time to time for fresh green table vegetables through the winter.

Fruit Trees And Berry Bushes of all kinds will be ready for planting this month. If your garden space is small plant at least some, such as loganberry, blackberry, raspberry or boysenberry, you can also learn some small front yard landscaping ideas. If you have more room, include peach, pear, apple, plum, apricot, nectarine and fig trees. Grapes, too, should be included in the fruit garden.

Bulbs of all kinds can still be planted in the Middle and Upper South. Although they can be planted even into December the best selection of varieties is liable to be gone by that time. In the Upper South, plant paper white narcissus, Soleil d’Or and Chinese Sacred lilies in pebbles and water. Use freesias, Dutch and Roman hyacinths to force in pots.

Refrigerated tulips and hyacinths can be planted in the garden after Thanksgiving in the Lower South. The weather must be cold enough to prevent the plants from coming up before they have a chance to develop a good root system. If warm, wait until December. The average date for the first frost in the Jacksonville, Florida area is November 24.

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