Coastal and Tropical South

June, 2005
Regional Report

Prune Out Bark Splits

When bark splits on main stems of shrubs in summer, if a string trimmer isn't responsible, blame the weather last winter. Warm weeks punctuated by cold snaps can stress shrubs, causing cells to be damaged by the changes. Summer's heat ruptures the injured stems and they split. Prune out the damaged wood.

Avoid Brown Tips

Houseplants -- those leafy beauties we leave on the shady porch most of the time -- can get browned tips at this time of year. Water that has drained out of the pot and is left in the saucer will be sucked back up into the pots, and brown tips are the result. Don't let this happen!

Remove Spotted Dogwood Leaves

Ugly as they are, most spotted dogwood leaves are harmless. Be sure to practice excellent sanitation to get the leaves out of the garden, not to the compost or mulch pile. Next spring, when new growth appears, start spraying with a fungicide to control the disease that doesn't show up until summer.

Rejuvenate Lawns

June is a fine time to thin the trees if needed for more sunlight on the grass, and to sprig or plug in new grass to replenish the lawn. If you do either one, fertilize lightly and water well so both lawns and trees put on new growth.

Combat Daylily and Iris Disease

Spots and streaks on the leaves of iris and daylilies must be dealt with now to avoid their further decline. Cut the affected plants down into fans as if you were moving them, then spray with a fungicide. Clean up the garden well this fall and spray again next spring.

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