Joette Reger's archive

Calla lily

Just the name, “calla lily” sounds beautiful.  And its blooms are some of the most striking of all flowers.  The calla is neither a “Calla” nor a “lily” but accidently incorrectly named by the famous Carl Linnaeus, and the name stuck. Some smaller florists’ varieties of this bulb are better as houseplants but we can grow the larger varieties outside.  This perennial bulb must be dug up and stored in cold zones but here they are hardy enough to last through our winters and surprise us year after year.   

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Baby zinnia grown from seed

I just can’t think of any gardening that is more fun than growing from seed. That is, of course, when the outcome is what you expect. There are some simple ways to make seed growing a good experience. When you can master “the seed,” you can start your garden earlier in the season, have plants that are unique and make sure that everything is grown organically. 

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I can’t resist the temptation to buy those beautiful “about to flower” bulbs in the nurseries and big box stores this time of year. Can you? They tease us with such a variety of colors and flowers and fragrances that it is almost impossible to say no.

Most all of these bulbs have been “forced” to bloom, and are called “winter forced.” Some of them bloom indoors for us and nowhere else. But lately I’ve had some luck with transplanting those bulbs to an outdoor spot. What do you have to lose?

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Well, I hope you’re well rested because February should be a busy time for gardeners. This is a time when we here in the South can plant a lot of our veggies. We also use this month to fertilize cool-season grasses and treat our lawns. We begin planning what new items we may try in our gardens and yards this year. And we can use this time to prune and clip and strengthen growth patterns of existing plants. Have a limb heading off in the wrong direction? Now may be the time to clip it.

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I find home remedies fascinating. They usually work so well that the ideas have been passed down from great-grandparents. They don’t cost much, if anything, and they are just downright interesting. We want our gardens to thrive, not just limp along. Farmers did well with no purchased pesticides for hundreds of years, so maybe we can too?

Spray to deter bugs 

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