Southern Coasts

May, 2004
Regional Report

Love Those Lawns

Fertilize lawns with a slow-release lawn formula and mow at just less than 2 inches high until August, then set the mower at one notch higher. Water twice a month in dry times.

Water Wisely

Use this precious resource wisely and your plants will appreciate consistent, judicious amounts that promote thrifty growth. And you'll save money too! Set timing and flow on inground systems or maneuver sprinklers and soaker hoses to avoid runoff. Watch the pattern and pressure; be sure mulches don't get all the water.

Wait to Prune Summer Bloomers

Gardenias and oleanders take center stage for summer-flowering shrubs. They may be a bit leggy or sprawling, but wait until the flowers finish before taking the shears to them. Clip off the excess growth to shape and strengthen the main stems and branches.

Foil Those Slimy Invaders

After a few rainy days and nights, slugs and snails can be troublesome in beds and containers. Diatomaceous earth sprinkled around vulnerable plants works wonders, but it must be replaced after each rain. Tubes of paste products last a bit longer and are more effective in pots. Beer traps attract even more slugs.

Speed Up Sluggish Compost

Soggy or extremely dry compost cannot do its job and will become a nuisance shortly. Divide the pile in two, mix dry leaves with wet piles, and fresh cut grass with dry ones. Keep the piles no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet and turn weekly for a month.

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