It Is Not Too Late – To Do List

Tomato and eggplant seeds in portable greenhouse

Today, as I was planting some more tomato seeds, it occurred to me that you may think it is too late to start many of your vegetables from seed to pot up and go into the garden.

  • The fact is now is a great time to start many of the seeds that should be put out late or you want to stagger planting. These include tomatoes, for staggered plants, as well as all peppers, and eggplant that need warm soil to start growing. Actually it is a little early to start squash and cucumber, if you do not direct seed them in your garden. Our sunny days and warm temperatures will allow planting without a greenhouse, if you have a sunny place and a solid surface to place the flats.
  • It is still time to separate daffodils that did not bloom well. The real trick is to separate the bulbs and replant them immediately, leaving the foliage attached to the bulb. Be sure and plant at the same level that they were dug. Allow the foliage to remain on the bulbs until it yellows and dies.
  • Any foliage that had severe burn from the last freeze needs to be removed from the plant unless there is new foliage coming in its place. I have a hedge of Harland’s boxwood in my back yard that looks like it has a dyed brown flattop. I need to remove this burned foliage from the freeze as soon as possible.
  • Many of my clumps of perennial coneflowers are just coming up. I dig the overcrowded ones and separate and replant without causing loss of flowers this year, if I do it soon. The extra plants I pot up and give away as gifts.
  • I have not pruned my common camellias, except to cut the blooms for indoor use. Prune now and shape the plants making sure if they are in a space where you need to limit their size, you need to compensate for the new growth this spring. I have found that this needs to be done no later than around the first of May for best results.
  • There are very few junipers that do not have some dead foliage. While it would have been best to remove this in the winter, it is not too late. By doing this as soon as possible, you will encourage as much new growth as possible, if the plant is not dead.

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John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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