Lower South

April, 2009
Regional Report

Give Annuals a Spring Boost

Remove spent flowers, trim back excessive growth, and apply fertilizer to annual flowers. They expend lots of energy producing all those blooms. This trimming and feeding will do wonders to rejuvenate their vigor and extending the useful life of the planting.

Control Aphids

Check new tender growth for aphids. A few can be tolerated, but large numbers warrant control. Light infestations can be set back with a strong blast of water to dislodge them. For more serious infestations, insecticidal soap or pyrethrins are low toxicity options. Always follow label instructions carefully.

Prevent Blossom End Rot

Blossom end rot is caused by a lack of calcium at the growing tip of tomatoes and watermelon fruit. A lack of calcium in the soil, or moisture levels that fluctuate from dry to wet can lead to blossom end rot. Keep soil evenly moist, especially early in the season when the first fruits are developing. Plants growing in sandy soil are especially prone to this problem.

Time to Fertilize the Lawn

Now that your turf is actively growing it can use a boost of nutrition to keep it green and healthy. Select a product with a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio of nutrients and apply enough to supply one half to one pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet.

Let Wildflowers Go to Seed

Our spring wildflowers are setting seeds now. If you have a mini meadow area or other such area with wildflowers avoid mowing them until they have had a chance to disperse their seeds. If you want to save seeds, collect the seed structures as they just begin to turn brown and place in a tall, open paper sack to dry. This way when the pods open the seeds will stay within the sack. Many types can fling seed quite a distance!

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