Upper South

July, 2004
Regional Report

Feed and Water Annuals

Apply a granular or liquid fertilizer solution to annuals growing in the garden as well as those in containers to keep them at their best throughout the summer into fall. If using a granular fertilizer, lightly scratch it into the soil surface. Check container plantings daily to see if watering is needed. If going away on vacation, make arrangements for someone to water.

Deadhead and Fertilize Repeat-Blooming Roses

Those rose varieties that bloom all summer will give you a better show if the faded flowers are cut off. Using a sharp pruning shears, cut down to a five-leaflet leaf. This type of rose will also give a better performance if plants are fertilized at least once after the first flush of flowers has faded. Do not feed after the end of July so that new growth has a chance to harden before frost.

Make Beds Around Trees and Shrubs

Prevent lawn mower and string trimmer damage to tree and shrub trunks by creating beds around them. Spread a thick layer of newspapers around the plants and cover it with bark mulch. Taper the mulch downward toward the base of the plant. The area can later be planted with spring-flowering bulbs or a ground cover.

Divide Daylilies

As daylilies finish blooming, consider which ones are ready for dividing. The newer hybrids in particular form dense, vigorous clumps within three or four years. To keep them blooming at their peak, dig up the clumps and separate or cut the dense mat of roots into clumps with three or four leaf fans. Cut foliage back to 3 inches and replant immediately or pot up to share with friends.

Plant Vegetables

Crops with a short maturity date, such as bush beans and summer squash, can still be planted for a plentiful late-season harvest. Begin preparing an area for cool-season crops, such as turnips, radishes, lettuce, and greens. Continue planting these crops until August. With later sowings, use a cold frame, grow tunnel, or fabic cover to protect plants from frost.

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