Lower South

September, 2006
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Larkspur
Larkspur (Consolida) are beautiful reseeding annual flowers, producing tall bloom spikes in spring bearing pink, purple, or white blooms. While the single form is the most common, double forms are also available. Larkspur makes a great cut or dried flower. Larkspur is very easy to grow both from fall-planted seed or winter-planted transplants. Space transplants about 8 to 10 inches apart. The simplest and least expensive way to grow them is from seed planted in the fall. Provide them with a well-drained location in full sun to bright partial shade. Children enjoy these flowers because a close look into the center of a single larkspur bloom reveals a white rabbit head including ears. Take note, however, that the plants are poisonous so take necessary precautions if young children are around.

Clever Gardening Technique

Peat Moss for Take All Patch Management
Take All Patch is a severe disease of St. Augustine and several other turfgrass species. When grass is stressed, this disease can move in and kill large areas of lawn. Researchers at Texas A&M have found that topdressings of peat moss can significantly reduce Take All Patch disease. Spread one 3.8-cubic-foot bale of compressed peat moss per 1,000 square feet of turf area and water it in well. The acidic qualities of the peat moss help deter the fungus, which thrives on the high pH conditions often present in sod produced in higher pH coastal clay soils.

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