Lower South

August, 2007
Regional Report

Prepare Roses for Fall Show

Roses are gearing up for their big fall bloom show. Prune plants back by one third, fertilize them and give them a good soaking. This will encourage a new flush of growth followed by super blooms in late September and October. Keep foliage diseases in check with periodic spraying. That foliage is the carbohydrate factory that brings on more blooms.

Rejuvenate Heat-Stressed Summer Flowers

Impatiens, petunias, geraniums, begonias, and other summer flowers that have become a little ragged over the last few months of heat and drought can be rejuvenated now for a great rerun in the fall season. Lightly prune them back and give them a dose of fertilizer followed by a good watering. They'll reward you with another couple of months of super blooms.

Help Cold-Tender Plants Prepare for Fall

Stop fertilizing semi-tender woody plants such fig trees and others that are marginally hardy in your area to help them prepare for winter. Extra nitrogen and luxuriant watering can promote late flushes of growth, which are prone to cold injury. Marginally hardy plants need to have plenty of time to slow growth and prepare for winter.

Plant Marigolds

Plant marigolds now for a gorgeous fall display that will last until the first frost. The large blooms of the African marigolds make an especially dramatic splash of yellow and orange color. Mites are not nearly the problem in fall as they are in summer. Keep the young plants well watered and fertilize them lightly every two weeks.

Maintain Fall-Bearing Fruits and Nuts

Keep pecans, persimmons, and citrus trees adequately moist to encourage good development of the kernels and fruit. Water stress now can cause fruit and nut drop and poor filling of pecan kernels.

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