Coastal and Tropical South
Fixing Slimy Lawns
Wet weather can bring scary-looking, gooey growth on turfgrass blades. Gray, black, and white -- the unsightly mess is slime mold. The fungus favors prolonged periods of wet weather and lives on, but not in, blades of grass. On a dry day, blast it off with a garden hose.
Take Aim Against Grasshoppers
Summer's pests include grasshoppers, which can cause serious damage to many plants. Their numbers increase as summer wears on, and so does their size and appetite. Chemical controls are effective, but also harmful to many beneficials. Grasshoppers are slow and large, so stomp all you can, instead.
Provide Triage for Flooded Plants
Where storms have caused plants to sit in water for days, do a garden triage and prioritize the recovery. Compost drowned annuals and replant when possible. Most perennials can be cut back to recover, but dianthus and sedum may not. Dig ditches around shrubs and trees.
Making More Dumb Canes
Dieffenbachia, also called dumb cane for its numbing properties, roots easily. When canes get wimpy or overgrown, take action. Cut off the leafy top with 2 inches of cane and root in wet sand. Cut the remaining cane into 4-inch sections and lay them in sideways until they sprout in two months.
Promoting Stocky Fall Seedlings
Stretched by inadequate light, seedlings can fall over instead of growing up stocky. As soon as candytuft, calendulas, snapdragons, and other autumn favorites sprout, move them to a very sunny window or be sure artificial light sources are 3 to 4 inches above seedlings. Elevate lights as plants grow.