Coastal and Tropical South

June, 2007
Regional Report

Inspect Brown Conifer Foliage

Watch for green needles turning brown on junipers and other conifers. If your weather has been very dry or wet, these plants will be vulnerable to pests. Dry plants and soil make for good spider mite conditions, while flooded roots can get root rot. Use neem for mites and fungicide for rot.

Propagate Honeysuckle

New growth on red coral and golden honeysuckle root easily in water now. Take 6-inch cuttings from stems not in bloom. Strip leaves off the lower half of the stem and stick it in water with a bit of fertilizer. Use a clear glass; if the water clouds, replace it promptly.

Set Up a Rain Barrel

A clean barrel covered in window screen can be the gardener's best friend during drought. Don't plan on long-term storage, or devise a plan to deal with mosquitoes, but catch what you can and use it to best advantage.

Make Sure Birdhouses Are Hospitable

A recent pair of beautiful gifts revealed two common problems with birdhouses. Large and made of wood, one birdhouse is perfectly sized for nesting but cannot be cleaned out for the next family. The other is charming and small, also a work of art, but metal and too hot to be homey.

Harvest Veggies on the Small Side

A great advantage of homegrown produce is you can harvest before the veggies get too large. Squash and cucumbers deliver their best taste when smaller than usually seen in the produce department, and picking often allows more to set and develop. Bush beans, too, are fully edible and delicious at smaller sizes.

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