Lower South

June, 2010
Regional Report

Raise the Mower Blade

Set you mower to as high as is aesthetically acceptable. Mowing at a low height is more stressful to most turf species. It results in shallow rooting (less drought resilience) and encourages weed problems. Tall turf is stronger, deeper rooted and looks denser too. It is also better able to take foot traffic and does better in shady spots.

Control Crape Myrtle Aphids

Aphids can be a significant problem on crape myrtles. They secrete honeydew, which falls on lower leaves and is soon covered with a sooty, black mold. Early control prevents the problem from becoming an eyesore. Insecticidal soap, lightweight summer oils and pyrethrins are among the many products available for aphid control.

Trim Watersprouts from Fruit Trees

Vigorous upright shoots in the center of the tree need to be trimmed back to allow light into the canopy of leaves. Otherwise the young shoots on the inside of the tree, which would carry much of next year's fruit, will be shaded and die back or at least become much less productive.

Wash Away Spider Mites

Spider mites love hot weather and a dry, dusty leaf surface. A weekly blast of water directed upward from beneath the plants can dislodge them from the undersides of the leaves. This is often enough to keep them under control. When this is not enough insecticidal soap and other spray options are available to help control these summer pests.

Rejuvenate Roses

Rose bushes have completed their peak 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.

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