Coastal and Tropical South

May, 2007
Regional Report

Books

Lawn Care
Lawn Geek: Tips and Tricks for the Ultimate Turf from the Guru of Grass, by Trey Rogers (New American Library, 2007; $15), is an in-depth look at growing and maintaining lawns nationwide. His background as a turf scientist shows in his broad knowledge about the subject. Not academic at all, this Sultan of Sod writes for everyone who must mow and would like that effort to pay off. I like his attitude even if I don't always take such good care of my own lawn! In a recent interview, Rogers spoke of the importance of regular mowing in weed prevention, and waxed poetic about the future of mowing -- robots that will mow twice a week, clipping only a small bit of grass blade with each pass. Less cut, more often = less trauma, more nice grass.

Clever Gardening Technique

Bigger and Better
Large cucurbits of all sorts -- pumpkins, melons, and gourds -- must have nearly constant access to water and fertilizer. Both essentials go directly to vine and leaf production, which are the keys to fruits that are both large and sturdy. Provide both necessities by burying a prepared gallon jug halfway up to its neck in the hill close to the seeds. To make a jug reservoir, wash container and cap in warm soapy water and rinse well. Use a screwdriver to poke small holes that will leak the solution steadily from near the base of the jug into the root zone of the plants. Keep it full of fertilizer solution (full or half-strength) once the seeds sprout. With this method, pumpkins, cushaws, and luffa gourds planted this month will bear in late summer.

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