Middle South

June, 2004
Regional Report

Plant Pumpkins

You can plant pumpkins in your garden, but I find they really like growing in an old compost heap. A pile 2 feet wide and 8 inches deep will support a trio of plants. Small-fruited varieties produce best and are less prone to problems with pests.

Propagate Sweetpotato Vine

As holes appear in your flower garden, fill them with ornamental sweetpotato vine. Tips snipped from established plants will strike roots in two weeks, and then make fast growth once you set them free in your garden.

Pinch Chrysanthemums

Mums that survived winter need to be pinched back to encourage the development of branches -- the key to growing plants that are covered with blooms. Pinch back asters, too. Be sure to finish pinching by the end of June so the plants will have plenty of time to develop flower buds by fall.

Sow More Basil

Basil plants started in spring should be offering up plenty of pickings, but they will soon become focused on flowering. Get reinforcements ready by sowing seeds in a sunny spot. Cover the planted seeds with a upturned flowerpot or cardboard box to keep the soil moist while the seeds germinate.

Groom Annuals

Annual flowers of all types love being relieved of old flowers, which helps them gear up to produce more buds. Petunias and salvias respond quickly to attentive grooming, and deadheading greatly prolongs the bloom time of marigolds, impatiens, and celosia.

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