Lower South

June, 2003
Regional Report

Allow Peppers to Turn Red

Peppers allowed to turn red will be sweeter and much higher in beta carotene, but the plants will produce a little less. Even jalapenos which are traditionally harvested green, mature to tasty red peppers.

Protect Seedlings From Drying Sun and Wind

The lighter-weight row cover fabrics can protect seedlings until they are up and large enough to make it on their own. These covers also help retain soil moisture, reducing desiccation from the wind and sun, aiding young seedlings in getting off to a good start.

Keep Extra Containers for Instant Color

Plant some extra flowering containers periodically for backup color. When one starts looking spent, you can just move another into its place and replant the old one or take it back behind the garage to the plant hospital for recuperation!

Keep An Eye Out for Scale On Fruit Trees

Examine fruit trees periodically for scale infestations and use pieces of flagging tape to identify infested branches. Summer or horticultural oil (NOT dormant oil) directed at scale colonies on the plant's branches can help keep them from getting out of hand. If you let them go until winter, that tiny infestation will be a monumental invasion!

Watch for Chinch Bugs

St. Augustine lawns may begin to show chinch bug damage now that summer is here. These infestations usually first appear in a sunny area next to a drive, curb, or other masonry structure. Overwatering and overfertilizing may make your turf more susceptible to chinch bug attack. Several insecticides are labeled for use on these pests, however there is no need to treat the entire lawn, just the area affected.

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