Southern Coasts

April, 2004
Regional Report

Fertilizing Flowers

Give those early spring annuals the longest life possible. Snapdragons, pansies, candytuft, and violas will rebloom with a little help. Fertilize the plants, pluck off the old flowers, and water if the weather is dry or especially windy. Petunias and nasturtiums may need to be trimmed back but they will resume blooming.

Control Weeds Around New Ground Covers

New plantings of ground covers like liriope can get overrun with weeds while you're hoping they'll grow to cover a bed or slope. Lay a newspaper mulch between the new babies, then put a layer of leaves or ground bark on top. Later, the newspaper and mulch can be worked into the bed.

Use Row Covers To Keep Out Insects

When planting squash and leafy greens like malabar spinach, remember they are a favorite site for moths laying their eggs. Hungry larvae hatch and eat whole leaves or bore into stems and feed there. Use a floating row cover over zucchini and summer crookneck squash to prevent this problem.

Fertilize Salvias

As perennial salvias get going, watch for yellow leaves. Most varieties are heavy feeders and will benefit from a granular fertilizer applied now and again in June. Look for a flower formula with both immediate and slow-release ingredients. Together they will provide nutrition to grow both leaves and flowers.

Divide Bulbs

If your daffodils didn't perform as well this year as in seasons past, dig bulbs and divide clumps once the leaves have turned brown.

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