Coastal and Tropical South

June, 2008
Regional Report

Eradicate Poison Ivy ASAP

Don't wait for poison ivy to get huge and bloom to control the invasive, dastardly vines. Cut the vine at its base, even if it's 20 feet up a tree. A week later, treat the new growth with an organic herbicide containing fatty acids, potassium salts, or orange oils.

Train Shrubs to Be Drought Tolerant

Many shrubs that could be at least somewhat drought tolerant can get hooked on excessive amounts of water. That makes hot, dry weeks or months more of a challenge. Where rain is plentiful, water sparingly in between. Where it is dry now, water deeply occasionally, then just enough to maintain them.

Pinch Poinsettias

Lucky you -- that poinsettia is still alive and well. Pinch or clip out the tips of new growth, fertilize the plant, and keep watering. When there's 8 inches of new growth, pinch again. You can root these cuttings if you want more poinsettias to force into colorful glory this fall.

Weed and Mulch

Weed flower beds monthly to keep growth in check. Carry a can or tarp along, pull or dig the weeds, and drop them in. Trash the most invasive and rampant. Take along a cart of fresh mulch and blanket the freshly weeded ground for longer term control.

Address Turf Problems

June is the time to deal with common turf issues. Fleas are trouble and reproduce weekly; control with pyrethrin sprays. Kick up the mower's deck one notch to make fresh cuts. If the lawn is spongy to walk on, or you can see thatch 3 inches deep along the driveway, dethatch now.

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