Southern Coasts

July, 2004
Regional Report

Mow Up

Even healthy lawns can benefit from a quick lift of the mower blade height right now. As grass grows and gets mowed, the same piece of blade is damaged over and again. Raise the deck one notch and let it recover.

Cut Hydrangea Flowers

As hydrangea flowers begin to fade or are beaten by the rain, clip them off. Take time to prune the shrubs now while the growth is tender. Do not cut back into the wood unless necessary to rejuvenate or remove a cane. Dry flowers indoors and spray paint for fun.

Eliminate Standing Water

Get a grip on mosquito breeding grounds and prevent rot, too. Fill in any holes in garden beds, even out mulch with a rake, and fill other low spots with sand or gravel. Be sure all container plants drain well, and dump out the vases of bromeliads weekly to keep them fresh.

Help Plants Through Summer Heat

Keep the fall garden happy in the hottest weather. Spread floating cover sheets over young tomatoes in cages to keep out the insects and some heat. Set a sprinkler on a timer to water broccoli transplants or young squash seedlings (15 min at noon) daily to keep them hydrated in hot weather.

Tending Japanese Iris

Japanese iris have made huge inroads into gardens in our area. Their very large flowers are lovely and long lasting on the stem. They are not without problems in a rainy summer, so pluck out any damaged leaves and spray new growth with fungicide. Dig and divide in September.

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