Lower South

August, 2004
Regional Report

Avoiding Squash Viruses

Viruses can be epidemic in squash this time of year. Try laying down two wide strips of aluminum foil side by side around new seedlings and securing them with bent sections of coat hanger wire. You can also lay down foil first and then cut a hole in the center for planting. The reflective mulch repels insects that carry virus diseases.

Fall is for Marigolds

Plant marigolds now for a gorgeous fall display that will last until the first frost. The large blooms of African marigolds make an especially dramatic splash of yellow and orange color. Mites are not nearly the problem in fall that they are in summer. Keep the young plants well watered, and fertilize them lightly every two weeks.

Webworm Alert

Webworms are back again in pecan, mulberry, cherry, and other target trees. Break their webs with a long pole, and treat with a product containing Bt when caterpillars are still very young. A complete defoliation now can really weaken a tree.

Rejuvenate Roses for Their Fall Show

Trim back roses this month for a super show in September and October. Depending on the variety and vigor of the bush, cutting back by about one-third is usually about right. Then fertilize and water them well. They will respond with vigorous growth and much better blooms in fall than non-pruned bushes. Keep diseases and mites under control, keep soil moist, and fertilize bushes periodically to promote good plant health and vigor.

Maintain Fall-Bearing Fruits and Nuts

Keep pecans, persimmons, and citrus trees adequately moist to encourage good development of the kernels and fruit. Water stress now can cause fruit and nut drop and poor filling of pecan kernels.

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