Coastal and Tropical South

July, 2008
Regional Report

Be Water Wise

Store water now by adding a rain barrel or cistern to your garden. Be sure to cover it with mesh screen and agitate it weekly. During very wet spells remember to empty saucers under container plants so they don't reabsorb drainage water.

Give Lawns a Boost

Don't miss a chance to encourage lawns that are looking pale and sparse by fertilizing in midsummer. Water or wait for rain, then apply slow-release formulas made for your turf type. For healthy lawns, consider applying an iron amendment to green the blades without stimulating excessive growth.

Encouraging More Blooms

Bougainvillea and kalanchoe don't flower when overwatered or overfed, and daisies stop blooming if overcrowded. Leggy petunias, impatiens, lantana, verbena, and SunPatiens need cutting back now to bring back the flowers. Bronzy leaves of lantana and verbena indicate spider mites, so cut back the foliage, replace the mulch, and use a spray containing Neem.

Give One Last Pinch

Exuberant 'Clara Curtis' chrysanthemum (also called 'The Country Girl') and Joe Pye weed are examples of perennial plants that bloom in the fall. Both grow so tall they can flop over, spoiling the flowers. Pinch each growing tip back by 6 inches now so flowers form on shorter plants.

Deadheading Roses

Keep shrub roses deadheaded, and tend to other needs to promote new growth and fall flowers on the remontant (reblooming) types. Cut back each stem to a five-fingered leaflet below the flower, or lower to shape the bush. At mid-month, cut hybrid tea roses back to 2 feet tall.

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