Lower South

June, 2004
Regional Report

Plant Heat-Tolerant Bedding Plants

There is still time to plant some of the colorful, heat-tolerant, summer annuals. Zinnias, portulaca, purslane, periwinkle, salvia, impatiens, and hyacinth bean are a few of the many options. Heat-tolerant perennials for the south include canna, esparanza (Tecoma stans), firebush (Hamelia patens), various gingers, and the salvias: Salvia \'Indigo Spires\', S. gauranitica, S. leucantha, and S. greggii.

Move Houseplants Outside for Summer

Houseplants can still be moved outdoors. Sink the pots in a cool, shaded, garden bed to prevent them from sunburning or drying out too quickly. Water them often as the warmer temperatures will significantly increase their rate of water use. Feed regularly with a liquid houseplant fertilizer for optimum growth.

Don\'t Be a Skeeter Breeder

Watch for standing water in catch basins under containers. Empty them every few days. Also check for other containers and basins around the place where rainwater collects. These small reservoirs of water can raise a good crop of mosquitoes, enough to ruin a weekend cookout!

Attack Nutsedge Now

Nutsedge has sent out its underground runners and is now producing nuts capable of increasing its population by many fold. Now is the time to attack and either dig or spray every last sprout. If you do a good job knocking it back and then quit for a season, it will regain the lost ground. If you stay with it, you can win.

Fertilize Flowers for Repeat Performances

Fertilize annual flowers on a regular basis to keep them vigorous and productive. If you use a liquid fertilizer, apply it weekly. For dry granular products, work in a light application once every four weeks. Slow-release products can be placed in the soil before or just after planting to feed the plants throughout the season.

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