Coastal and Tropical South

August, 2007
Regional Report

Keep Migration Stations Full

Clean the feeders and keep them full as the hummingbirds prepare for the annual migration. They're hungry and feeding as heavily as you allow. Particular favorite plants include the red shrimp plant and firecracker bush, but adding feeders now will get your garden on the hummingbird's map of favorite feeders.

Cut and Pinch Annuals

Summer annuals can grow leggy and stop blooming, but they're not done yet. Cut back overgrown plants to their best remaining green growth. Fertilize and let them grow again. Pinch poinsettia plants again now to stimulate branching and thus more red bracts later on.

Build Better Buds

Unless your garden is suffering from drought stress, fertilize azaleas, gardenias, and camellias this month. Many shrubs have already initiated their buds for next year, and fertilizing now can deliver bigger flowers. Use a complete formula, either granular or soluble, made for flowering shrubs like these favorites.

Clean Purple Martin Houses

Once the purple martins leave their gourds and apartments, it's time for you, the landlord, to get them cleaned out. Not only will there be fewer pests and mess in the house next year, a clean nest discourages the sparrows from taking up residence as the martins vacate for the year.

Make a Safety Inventory

Take time now to survey your property for potential hazards. Cut down dead trees, remove dead branches and those that hang over property lines and utilities, if you can do so safely. If not, call a professional. Make a family security plan now to secure anything outdoors that could become airborne in a storm.

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