Upper South

June, 2007
Regional Report

Continue Rose Care

Rugosas, disease-resistant shrubs, and many old roses do not need routine spraying, but hybrid teas, floribundas, and grandiflora roses do. Provide regular feeding, full sun, mulch, water, and good air circulation so roses naturally have the best defense against insects and diseases. In addition, provide either organic or chemical pest controls throughout the gardening season. Prune off faded flowers and dispose of diseased plant matter in the trash.

Consider Installing Soaker Hoses

Soaker hoses in plant beds provide water to the root zones of plants with the minimum of waste, as opposed to sprinklers, with their overspray, runoff, and evaporation. Choose a good quality soaker hose that's very flexible. Start by using the soaker hose for about 30 minutes twice a week. Check the soil the next day to see if it has penetrated several inches, then adjust accordingly. For more information on using soaker hoses, visit: http://www.savingwater.org/docs/SuccesswithSoakerhoses.pdf.

Grow Lettuce This Summer

Traditionally, lettuce is a garden crop for spring and fall gardens, but varieties have been selected for their heat tolerance. Combine these with regular watering and either growing in light shade or the use of a shade cloth, and you'll be able to have fresh lettuce from your garden all summer long. Look in garden catalogs for lettuce mixes designed for their heat tolerance, or consider varieties such as the romaine 'Jericho' or the leaf-type lettuce 'Larissa'.

Try a Vacuum Sealer

Even if you grow only a few vegetables, you'll often find yourself with extras. Besides sharing with friends and neighbors, it makes sense to preserve summer's bounty either by canning or freezing. Freezing is an easy method that delivers "almost fresh" flavor. The best way to preserve that flavor for the longest period is by sealing the food with a vacuum sealer. These are available in kitchenware departments at a range of prices, with the least expensive being quite adequate. Freezing extra seed is another good use for the appliance.

Clean Up Spring Bulbs

Spring bulb foliage is finally faded and can be cut back to the ground now. This is also the time to dig up any bulbs that you want to plant later this fall in other parts of the garden or clumps that are not flowering well. After digging, shake off any soil and let dry in the shade. Once the bulbs are dry, place them in mesh bags, label, and hang in a dry, cool, well-ventilated place.

Donate Today

The Garden in Every School Initiative

Special Report - Garden to Table

— ADVERTISEMENTS —