Coastal and Tropical South

August, 2006
Regional Report

Plant for Fall

Reports from Houston tell of the rainiest summer gardening season in years. Now's the time to find a place that's not too soaked and put in the fall vegetable garden. Squash, cole crops (broccoli and its mates), and bush beans can be planted now. Wait until next month for greens.

Inspect Damaged Trees

From New Orleans to Mobile, rainfall amounts are down and that's not helping trees to recover from last year's catastrophe. Trees that were inundated with salt water will show signs of stress now, and may be greater hazards than ever. Have an arborist or other tree professional survey the damage.

Caring for Citrus

Satsumas, kumquats, and other delicious citrus are filling their fruit now. Water regularly until time for harvesting. If the leaves are pale, fertilize lightly with a soluble formula. Overfertilizing a tree with fruit on it can cause the fruit to fall off, much to your regret.

Don't Ignore Mimosa

Mimosa seed can blow in from a block away, and once the tree is allowed to become established, it may be with you forever. If you do not want a mimosa, pull it up at first sight and pour salt in the hole to suppress its fervor. If you do grow one, clean up your seed pods!

Cut Back Cereus

Once night-blooming cereus stop blooming, it's time to cut them back for two reasons. The flowers generally emerge from younger "leaves," and pruning will stimulate more of them. And if you don't control their growth, they quickly become too large to fit through any door. Remove the oldest shoots entirely.

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