Upper South

July, 2004
Regional Report

Water Newly Established Plants

A soggy spring is turning into a dry summer. Plants set out earlier, especially trees, shrubs, and perennials, need to be deeply watered at least once a week. Allow water to penetrate into the soil rather than just sprinkling lightly. If not already applied, put down a mulch to help conserve soil moisture and control weeds. Container plants can still be planted, but wait until fall to plant ball-and-burlap stock.

Summer Lawn Care

Bluegrass is a cool-season plant that becomes stressed during hot, dry summer weather. With inadequate water, it will become dormant and turn brown until conditions are more favorable. To keep lawns green, apply 1 to 1-1/2 inches of water in a single application per week. Avoid frequent, light sprinklings, which encourages shallow rooting. Lawns also stay healthier if the mower setting is at least 3 inches or higher during the summer.

Harvest, Harvest, Harvest

Harvest repeat-bearing vegetables crops, such as tomatoes, squash, okra, peppers, pole beans, cucumbers, and eggplant, frequently to encourage continued production and have the best quality. Check on plants at least twice a week. If pests have overtaken crops, consider re-planting. Any crop that takes less than 90 days to harvest can still be planted.

Berry, Berry Good

Fertilize June-bearing strawberries with 1/2 pound of actual nitrogen per 100 feet of row. Harvest raspberries and blackberries when they are fully colored and easily separated from the plant. After harvest is complete, prune out the fruiting canes on summer-bearing types to make room for new growth. Keep berry area weeded and apply a mulch to conserve moisture and control weeds.

Flower Care

Keep up with the process of deadheading both annuals and perennials. This encourages annuals to bloom longer, and some perennials will re-bloom later in the season. Although daylilies are usually divided after they are finished blooming, some gardeners find that moving them while in they are in bloom is the best way to match colors with other flowers. Apply a water-soluble fertilizer at midseason. Pick bouquets for yourself and others.

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