Lower South

May, 2009
Regional Report

Control Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is back again on roses, crape myrtles, Turk's cap, rock rose (Pavonia), squash, and melons. Regular sprays with a preventative product are required for effective control. Some low toxicity options are sprays containing potassium bicarbonate or neem oil. Read and follow label directions carefully to prevent injury to plants.

Trim Blackberries

Pinch or snip out the tips of blackberry shoots when they reach about 4 feet tall. This encourages branching which helps form a tidier hedgerow for easy picking. After harvest remove the shoots that bore fruit back to ground level.

Start Bedding Plants Off Right

New bedding plants will benefit from a drink of a complete fertilizer solution at planting to get them established and off to a good start. Products like fish emulsion or a synthetic soluble plant food work great for this purpose. Repeat this weekly for a month or so to help build strong plant for loads of blooms.

Rejuvenate Roses

Rose bushes have completed their spring bloom period but most are repeat bloomers and are far from done for the summer. Remove spent bloom stems, fertilize the plants, and keep the soil adequately moist to keep them vigorous and encourage more blooms.

Plant Summer Flowers

Heat tolerant bloomers like periwinkle, zinnia, Blackfoot daisy, portulaca, purslane, impatiens, caladiums, and pentas can provide fabulous summer color. Just water them in well and keep the soil moist for a few weeks to get them off to a great start.

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