Lower South

July, 2008
Regional Report

Water Next Year's Fruit Now

Fruit trees are setting next year's fruit buds now. Make sure they are healthy and have plenty of water to keep them from being stressed. Leaf diseases, insect damage, drought, canopy shading (from suckers and watersprouts), and other such stresses will reduce next year's fruit load.

Water Beds Before Planting Seeds

To get seeds up and going in this heat, give the seed furrow a deep soaking prior to planting. This preplant irrigation is important. Then water the seeds in well after planting. A little shade covering over the row can slow drying of the soil and reduce soil temperature. A section of shade cloth or row cover suspended over the row works great.

Start Seedlings of Cole Crops Indoors

Grow your own transplants of broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, and other cole crops by starting seeds indoors in the next few weeks. Once the seeds germinate, move them to a bright, shady outdoor location and gradually into some morning sun. They'll be ready to transplant into the garden in mid to late September for a jump-start on the season.

Feed Citrus

Citrus needs to be in good shape to carry a load of fruit into the fall harvest period. Maintain good moisture and vigor. A little supplemental fertilizer is usually helpful. Trees in the ground may need about a cup per inch of trunk diameter spread evenly beneath the branch spread. Container trees will benefit from a soluble fertilizer solution mixed and applied at the label rate.

Maintain Dense Turf to Deter Winter Weeds

Give your turf a good watering every 5 to 7 days. This will keep it healthy and dense, and will help deter weeds. Many winter weeds will begin germinating in mid to late September in the mid to upper Gulf Coast area. If your turf is thin, weed problems will be much worse.

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