Lower South

April, 2007
Regional Report

Stop Weeds Early

Weeds are easiest to remove with a hoe while they are still very young and shallow rooted. After weeds are larger, removing them is more difficult and usually results in more damage to the roots of adjacent plants. Mulching prior to weed emergence works even better as most weed seeds are not able to germinate and become established beneath a dense mulch cover.

Patrol for Aphids

Aphids are out en masse with the arrival of spring temperatures. An outbreak is easily controlled with an insecticidal soap spray. Check first to see if ladybugs, lacewing larvae, or syrphid fly larvae are already taking care of the problem. A little patience means you get the aphids under control and also gain a larger population of beneficial insects in the process!

Boost Blooming Plants

Keep flowering plants productive with a light application of fertilizer every four to six weeks. This increases vigor and provides more foliage to produce more carbohydrates for more blooms. Apply 1 cup of a complete fertilizer per 25 square feet of bed area.

Fertilize Fruiting Veggies

Fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant need an extra boost of fertilizer to maintain vigor and good production. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of lawn fertilizer or another high-nitrogen product around each plant, scratch it lightly into the surface, and then water it in well.

Change Out Color Beds

Now that the weather is warming up, our cool-season plants are starting to decline. Now is a good time to pull them out, mix a half inch of compost into the soil, and replant with warm-season flowering and outdoor foliage plants.

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