Coastal and Tropical South

August, 2007
Regional Report

Get Planting

If you haven't already done so, get yourself to the vegetable rack at the nearest garden shop for eggplant, pepper, and tomato transplants. Regular, consistent watering is essential in summer plantings if rainfall isn't plentiful. There's plenty of time for squash from seed, and pumpkins for pie at Thanksgiving, if not jack-o'-lanterns.

Sow Cole Crops

To grow your own broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and cabbages of all sorts, sow seed now. Get a bag of sterile seed-starting mix, or use peat pellets, but start clean. Grow in direct sun or use a full spectrum grow light for best results. Water from the bottom.

Green Up Yellow Grass

If your lawn is slightly yellow and it's not caused by flooding, consider top-dressing it with a half inch of compost or milorganite. It's likely in need of nitrogen, and an organic material will not burn. Especially if you have used chemical fertilizers on the lawn, the organic matter is a necessity.

Treat Lawn For Fungus

When "take all" root rot is diagnosed, it's time to dethatch the lawn. It's not a pretty sight but necessary to reduce the host environment for the fungus. As the lawn starts to grow back in, top-dress it with peat moss. Fungicides alone do not control this disease.

Rejuvenate Gardenias

Prune and fertilize gardenias unless they are in bloom to encourage new growth and to thicken up spindly stems. If black sooty mold is growing on leaves, wash it off with soapy water. Spray at 8-day intervals with insecticidal soap. Remember to spray this shrub with horticultural oil in the fall.

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