Lower South

July, 2010
Regional Report

Deadhead Blooming Plants

Esperanza, buddleja, roses and other flowering shrubs and perennials will keep blooming up a storm if you trim away the spend blooms and give them a boost of fertilizer and water. This keeps them from directing energy into seed production and invigorates them into putting out new growth and more blooms.

Last Chance to Plant Winter Squash

If you hope to harvest a crop of winter squash or pumpkins before the first frost, now is the final call for getting seeds in the ground. Check the days to harvest intervals and choose the faster maturing types to hedge your bet even further.

Mid Summer Fruit Tree Care

Fruit trees set the buds for next year's crop from midsummer to fall. Prune out suckers and watersprout branches to allow light into the lower canopy. Keep the soil adequately moist to avoid stresses and insure a good set of fruit buds. Drought stress from now through August should be avoided as it can result in deformed fruit and lower yields next year.

Get In Another Planting Of Summer Veggies

You can still get in another crop of heat loving vegetables including southern peas, okra, sweet potatoes, amaranth, Malabar "spinach", and watermelons. Make sure and give them adequate water as the heat really increases their water use. Tender seedlings may benefit from a light scattering of pine needles to partially shade the soil and help retain moisture.

Plant Fall Tomatoes

Most of our tomatoes have pretty much quit setting fruit due to the hot days and nights. In fall we get another "window" of time where temperatures are right for fruit set. Now is the time to plant tomato transplants for the fall garden. If we wait until next month there won't be time to set a good crop before the first frost ends the season.

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