Lower South

June, 2005
Regional Report

Mow Higher in Summer

Set the lawn mower a little higher for summer mowing. The turf grass will develop deeper roots and be more resilient if you don't mow it so short. St. Augustine can be mowed 3 inches high while zoysia and standard types of bermuda grass will do fine at 2 inches tall.

Deadhead for More Blooms

Remove spent blooms on roses, crape myrtles, daylilies, and other plants that tend to set seed or have unsightly spent blooms. This process, called "deadheading," keeps the planting beds tidy and can help improve blooming by preventing the plants from expending energy developing seeds.

Patrol for Scale

Watch for scale insects on fruit trees, camellias, beautyberries, golden euonymous, and other susceptible plants. Timely sprays of a summer or horticultural oil directed at scale colonies on the plant's branches can help keep them from getting out of hand. Thorough coverage of the infested branch areas is critical for effective scale control with oil sprays.

Blast Mite Problems Away

Spider mites can be especially troublesome at this time. A strong blast of water directed upward from beneath the foliage can keep them in check for a few days, but it must be repeated regularly. Insecticidal soap is one of many spray options for their control.

No Suckers Allowed

Remove watersprouts growing from the lower trunks of fruit trees and suckers growing from the scaffold branches. These unproductive shoots can shade out the interior of the trees, reducing the fruiting next spring.

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