Middle South

August, 2007
Regional Report

Divide Daylilies

Daylilies that didn't flower well this summer can be divided now and replanted. Daylilies often overcrowd themselves. Cut back the foliage to 6 inches from the ground. Lift the entire clump, divide off sections, and replant in soil amended with compost. Keep well watered this fall and they'll bloom again next summer.

Don't Stress Over Premature Leaf Drop

The drought and high temperatures in August may be causing deciduous trees to drop their leaves early. Usually it's weak trees or trees that have had their roots disturbed that suffer from these conditions. Most trees can tolerate an early defoliation and come back next year as long as the rains come. Other may not make it. Don't decide to remove any trees until you see the final result next summer.

Water Trees and Shrubs Deeply

When watering newly planted trees and shrubs, water infrequently but deeply. Build a water basin around the drip line of the tree, but block the water from going up against the tree trunk. Fill the basin with water and let it soak in 2 to 3 feet deep. Watering this way once or twice a week is better than sprinkling the soil more frequently.

Be Patient with Struggling Lawns

In areas that haven't had consistent thunderstorms this summer, lawns have dried up and appear dead. Hopefully, they have just gone dormant due to the heat and dryness. Wait until the weather cools and rain returns before trying to renovate your lawn. Enjoy the break from lawn mowing.

Take Geranium Cuttings

Take cutting of geraniums, coleus, and begonias to produce new plants. Take a 4- to 6-inch-long cutting, dip the cut end in rooting hormone powder, and stick the cutting in moistened potting soil. Cover with a clear plastic bag with slits in it, and keep out of direct sun. It should root within a month.

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