Middle South

July, 2004
Regional Report

Beat the Beetles

Japanese beetle season is winding down, but it's still satisfying to begin the day by gathering up these insatiable gobblers and dumping them into a container of soapy water. Be cautious with traps, which may lure more beetles to your garden than would otherwise show up for breakfast.

Groom Flowers

Snip off old flowering stems from petunias, impatiens, and other annuals that have bloomed heavily through the first half of summer. Follow up with a deep drench of water-soluble plant food to help them regroup for a strong comeback in a few weeks.

Repot Houseplants

This is the best time of year to spoil holiday cacti and other winter-blooming houseplants by treating them to a fresh supply of potting soil. After repotting, keep them in a shady spot outdoors where they can soak up warmth and bright indirect light.

Mulch and Stake Peppers

Peppers will soon start loading up with fruits, and the plants will probably fall over if you don\'t give them some support. Mulch over the root zones to retain soil moisture, and tie the main stem to a slender stake.

Plant More Cucurbits

You may be tired of squash and cucumbers now, but in September you'll be hungry for them again. Sow a few seeds in enriched soil, and cover the planted area with newspapers or cardboard to retain soil moisture until the seedlings break through to the surface.

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