Lower South

June, 2003
Regional Report

Rejuvenate Roses

Rose bushes have completed their spring bloom period but most are repeat bloomers and are far from done for the summer. Remove spent bloom stems, fertilize the plants, and keep the soil adequately moist to keep them vigorous and encourage more blooms.

Plant Summer Flowers

Heat-tolerant bloomers like periwinkle, zinnia, Blackfoot daisy, portulaca, purslane, impatiens, caladiums, and pentas can still be planted for fabulous summer color. Just water them in well and keep the soil moist for a few weeks to get them off to a great start.

Give Spider Mites a Bath

Spider mites love hot weather and dry, dusty leaves. A weekly blast of water directed upward from beneath the plants can dislodge them from the undersides of the leaves. If you do a thorough blasting of the foliage, it is usually enough to keep mites in control without the need for pesticide sprays.

Break Up Webworm Webs

The early generation of webworms is in full force in the south. From these pesky caterpillars will come the late summer to early fall defoliating strain. Use a long pole to break up the webs, and wasps will soon arrive to carry away the defenseless caterpillars. Hurray for the wasps!

Prepare Spring Transplants For Summer

New transplants need regular watering to get established. However, after they have had a few weeks of such pampering, it is time to wean them off the ol' water hose. Gradually transition them to a less frequent watering schedule over a few weeks time.

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