Lower South

August, 2005
Regional Report

Pecans Filling Kernels Now

Pecans grow in size until about the beginning of this month at which time the shells harden and they begin to fill the kernels inside. Drought, foliage diseases, and insects attacking foliage or nuts can all result in poorly filled pecans. It is especially important from now through fall to keep the soil moist and prevent webworms from defoliating the trees.

Feed Citrus

Citrus needs to be in good shape to carry a load of fruit into the fall harvest period. Maintain good moisture and vigor. A little supplemental fertilizer is usually helpful. Trees in the ground may need about a cup per inch of trunk diameter spread evenly beneath the branch spread. Container trees will benefit from a soluble fertilizer solution mixed and applied at the label rate.

Take Advantage of Free Chips

Tree care companies are busy all summer trimming trees and usually have a truck full of shredded trimmings by the end of a day. Some are willing to dump the day's work at your place to save on disposal costs. These chipped wood products are free mulch for creating all-weather garden paths and for mulching beneath trees and shrubs.

Prepare Roses for Fall Blooming

Roses need periodic maintenance to keep them healthy and productive. Fertilizing every four to six weeks and managing pest and disease problems will help maintain healthy foliage and good vigor. In late August cut rose bushes back by about a third, fertilize each bush with several tablespoons of complete fertilizer, and water it in well to rejuvenate them for a great fall bloom show.

Spray for Webworms

They're baaaaaak! Webworms start their big fall attack this month. Small trees can be protected by breaking up the webs to allow predatory wasps to swoop in for a meal. Large trees may need spraying with products containing Bt. Just take carenot to allow the spray to drift onto butterfly larval food plants because Bt will kill most any type of caterpillar. The earlier you take steps to control these pests, the better. This is because Bt works best on young caterpillars, and preventing early defoliation is worth the effort. Once a tree has lost most of its leaves, it may be too late to save it.

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