Lower South

July, 2010
Regional Report

Prune Fall Blooming Perennials

Trim back chrysanthemums, Mexican bush sage, Mexican mint marigold and other fall blooming perennials now to help form a bushier plant in time for their fall bloom show. Fertilize lightly and water them well to encourage vigorous regrowth.

Control Weeds and Grass Around Fruit Trees

Keep grass away from the base of fruit trees, vines and bushes. It is a major competitor for water and nutrients. Controlling grass and weeds also keeps public enemies #1 and #2 of trees, the lawnmower and line trimmer, away from their trunks.

Plant Extra Containers for Instant Color

Plant some extra flowering containers periodically for backup color. When one starts looking spent you can just move another into its place and replant the old one or take it back behind the garage to the plant hospital for recuperation! Colorful containers provide a versatile addition to the landscape.

Back Off On Turf Fertilizing

Hold back on lawn fertilizing during the summer months. The clippings will decompose rapidly in our hot southern summers to feed the turf. Extra nitrogen can result in rapid growth and the need for extra water too keep the grass going. Lush, succulent lawn growth is more susceptible to some insect and disease problems too.

Make Vacation Plans for Plants

Don't forget to make arrangements for plant care when planning a vacation. In a pinch a plastic wading pool makes a good week-long waterer. Place plants in the pool without drain saucers. Then add an inch or two of water to the pool to wick up into the roots and potting mix. Finally add a mosquito briquette or dunk containing to the strain of B.t. that works on mosquitoes to prevent them from having pool parties at your place!

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