Lower South

July, 2005
Regional Report

Protect Young Seedlings

New seedlings are prime targets for hungry caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles, so make sure to keep a close eye on plants so you can be ready when pest damage warrants control. The lighter-weight row covers can protect seedlings until they are up and large enough to make it on their own. These covers also help retain soil moisture, reducing desiccation from the wind and sun, and aiding young seedlings in getting off to a good start.

Keep Roses Looking Their Best

Many roses repeat well; that is, they bloom in cycles from spring to fall. They can get weak and rundown if you allow diseases like black spot and powdery mildew to destroy their foliage. Spray as needed to protect the foliage and fertilize every four to six weeks to maintain good vigor and healthy foliage. They'll reward you with a bounty of blooms.

Plant Hot-Weather Veggies

There is still time to plant heat-loving vegetables like southern peas, okra, sweet potatoes, amaranth, Malabar spinach, and watermelons. Make sure to give them adequate water as the heat really increases their water use. Keep weeds at bay with a surface mulch of leaves or dried grass clippings, and you'll be able to spend more time sitting in the shade admiring your garden.

Don't Fret Over Curling Tomato Leaves

Upward curling of older tomato leaves is a sign of hot weather and high fertility levels. Some varieties are especially prone to this condition. Nothing need be done, as this is not a threat to the plants.

Water Turf In Summer

In order to build a deep-rooted and resilient lawn, avoid shallow, frequent waterings. These only promote shallow rooting and disease problems. Provide a good soaking with 1/2 to 1 inch of water, then wait at least 5 to 7 days before watering again. Use a rain gauge or straight-sided container to determine how long to run the sprinklers to apply that amount of water.

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