Lower South

July, 2010
Regional Report

Keep Bedding Plants In Bloom

Fertilize flowering annual and perennial flowers every 4-6 weeks to keep them vigorous and blooming up a storm! They expend lots of energy producing blooms and need good nutrition to keep up the good work. A product with a nutrient ratio of approximately 3-1-2 works great on our blooming plants to provide the needed boost in vigor.

Protect Yourself From Summer Sun

We gardeners often get careless with the sun. It can do significant skin damage over the years, as its effects are cumulative. A wide sombrero and some sun screen lotion for the skin will go a long way in avoiding major problems later in life.

Avoid Over Watering Plants

Unless a plant is designed to grow in a bog, be careful not to over-water. Many of our southern plants are able to take the saunas of summer as long as their roots are moist but well aerated. Soggy soil + hot weather is the kiss of death for many plants. Give them a good soaking and then allow the soil to dry a bit before watering them again. As the soil dries and water moves out, air is pulled into the soil to replace it.

Container Plants Need Frequent Watering

Our container plants need plenty of water in this summer heat, especially with their restricted root systems. When water is limited flowering will be reduced significantly. Containers in full sun may need water once or twice a day, depending on container size and type, and plant size. Terra cotta dries out especially fast.

Protect Plants From Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is taking a toll on susceptible plants in our warm, humid conditions. Among the lower toxicity treatments are products containing potassium bicarbonate or neem oil. As always, follow label instructions for mixing and application very carefully to avoid damaging plants.

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