Middle South

June, 2003
Regional Report

Mulch Tomatoes

Mulch tomatoes and peppers to help retain soil moisture and to insulate shallow roots from high temperatures. One method is to use grass clippings, applied in thin layers every three weeks. Plants will show vigorous new growth each time a new layer of clippings is applied.

Pick Blackberries

Find a blackberry patch if you don't have one yourself, and gather the berries when they are dead ripe. Blackberry cobbler for breakfast is great! Remember that blackberries develop their best flavor two to three days after they turn black. Perfect berries are slightly soft but still glossy.

Repot Tropicals

This is the best time of year to repot philodendrons and other tropical houseplants. If new leaves are small and pale, simply repotting may not be enough. You may need to divide the plants in order to create enough room for new roots to grow.

Plant Purplehulls

Fill vacant space in your vegetable garden with heat-tolerant legumes, such as purplehull peas or lima beans. I love to eat pink-eyed purplehulls, and they also make a great summer cover crop for soil that's low in organic matter.

Sow Sulphur Cosmos

You can't beat bright sulphur cosmos for filling the late summer color gap that will come in August. Plant the seeds in any sunny spot just before rain is expected. The plants will practically grow themselves during the muggiest days of summer. And they reseed!

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