Lower South

May, 2010
Regional Report

Plant Pumpkin and Winter Squash

Winter squashes including pumpkins take a long time to mature, often 90 days or more. Plant them soon to allow the plants plenty of time for to grow and mature the harvest before cool fall temperatures shut them down.

Cut Back On Lawn Fertilizing

Now that hot weather has arrived, our lawns don't need much additional nutrition. The clippings are decomposing to feed the turf as microbes are very active during the warm summer months. Excess nitrogen can result in rapid growth at the expense of roots, and the need for extra water too keep the grass healthy.

Plant Summer Loving Veggies

Okra, sweet potatoes, southern peas (black-eye, crowder, purple hull, zipper cream), malabar spinach, vegetable amaranth, and other hot weather veggies will thrive in our summer heat. Plant them now and mulch the area well to deter weeds. Keep them well watered as the hot weather increases their need for moisture.

Water New Transplants Regularly

Be extra careful to keep newly planted shrubs and trees well watered as their roots are still very confined and they dry out FAST in our southern summer heat. It is a bit of a challenge to keep summer transplants moist without waterlogging them. Too much or too little moisture are both deadly during hot weather.

Keep The Mower Blade Sharp

Check your lawn mower blade. Nicks and dents may indicate a need for a new blade. Sharpen your mower blades regularly. Dull blades can cause a brownish discoloration of the cut ends of stems and leaves shortly after mowing. Multiply these tiny tan to brown tips times a million and your lawn takes on a less attractive color and appearance.

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