Coastal and Tropical South

April, 2005
Regional Report

Timing Irrigation

A classic question arises when using inground irrigation systems: When is the best time to water? The professionals advise avoiding irrigation in late afternoon or evening because it causes leaves to stay wet overnight. From 3 a.m. on, though, it's fine to water since the leaves will be dry within 6 hours.

Shaping Oleander

Oleanders are generally round in shape, with many stems curving gently upward from the base. They are slightly squat, roundest around their middles, and flowers appear on all the branches. If yours grows strongly upright, prune it by midsummer to encourage new stems and growth.

Treating Daylilies for Fungus

If daylilies are not growing well, if leaves are pale or streaked, take action now to save them. Cut off the streaky or spotted leaves and get them out of the garden. Fertilize the plants at half the recommended rate, then spray the new growth with a fungicide.

Don't Hurry to Harvest Potatoes and Garlic

These favorite root crops mature in the spring and give up their space in the vegetable garden to summer's crowder peas and okra. Be don't be impatient. Begin digging around for new potatoes when the plants bloom, and harvest garlic when leaves yellow.

Caring for Fig Trees

Most varieties of figs ripen at two times during the season. Heavy pruning in winter will delay or reduce the crop, but light annual pruning will not. Once the first crop is ripe, usually in June, fertilize the tree and replenish the mulch. Water weekly to insure the second round in late summer.

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