Coastal and Tropical South

June, 2005
Regional Report

Purge Your Lawn of Spurge

Summer lawn weeds can be tenacious, usually because the lawn beneath is less than healthy. Do what you must to knock down weeds like spurge, then remove their remains, improve the soil, and seed or sprig to fill in the gaps left in the lawn. Take care in mowing around the new grass.

Reducing Algae in Ponds

When algae builds up, take these three steps to remedy it. First, physically remove the algae. Second, fill its space with floating plants to cover at least two-thirds of the surface. Third, investigate organic ways to control algae, including innovative treatments using barley in liquid or floating bales.

Rejuvenating Sad Shrubs

Azaleas can develop yellowing between the veins of their leaves in summer, a condition most often attributed to iron deficiency. But the iron may simply be unavailable in soils lacking organic matter and beneficial microbes. Water with fish emulsion several times and work some compost into the soil around each plant.

Don't Move That Tree

Unless a tree presents an immediate hazard to people or structures, wait until fall or winter to dig it up and move it. If that is your plan, begin now to prepare the tree for the inevitable shock. Forego fertilizing this summer, prune as needed to encourage compact growth, and water regularly.

Prune Oleander

Prune these durable shrubs in between flushes of bloom if they have lost leaves, gotten spindly, or grown more upright than desired. Cut back each stem by up to one third to stimulate new growth, work compost into the soil around each one, and fertilize with a flowering shrub formula.

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