Lower South

July, 2008
Regional Report

Keep Spider Mites in Check

Spider mites love hot weather and a dry, dusty leaf surface. A weekly blast of water directed upward from beneath the plants can dislodge them from the undersides of the leaves. This is often enough to keep them in control. When this is not enough, insecticidal soap and other spray options are available to help control these summer pests.

Don't Worry About Older Tomato Leaves Curling

Upward curling of older tomato leaves is a sign of hot weather and high fertility levels. Some varieties are especially prone to this condition. Nothing needs to be done as this is not a threat to the plants.

Make Vacation Plans for Plants

Make arrangements for plant care when planning a vacation. In a pinch a plastic wading pool makes a good week-long waterer. Place plants in the pool without drainage saucers. Then add an inch or two of water to the pool to wick up into the roots and potting mix. But don't stay gone too long or mosquitoes will start having pool parties at you place!

Get in Last Planting of Winter Squash

If you hope to harvest a crop of winter squash or pumpkins before the first frost, now is the final call for getting seeds in the ground. Choose the faster-maturing types to hedge your bet even further.

Deadhead Blooming Plants

Esperanza, buddleia, roses, and other blooming shrubs and perennials will keep blooming up a storm if you trim away the spent blooms and give them a boost of fertilizer and water. This keeps them from directing energy into seed production and invigorates them into new growth and more blooms.

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