Lower South

April, 2011
Regional Report

Plant Heat Tolerant Vegetables

Now is the time to plant vegetables that tolerate or even love the hot weather of a southern summer. Watermelon, muskmelon (cantaloupe), southern peas, winter squash and okra will be happy to sprout in the warm soil. Sweet potato "slips" will soon be arriving in local garden centers too.

Fertilize Lawns

Warm season southern turf grasses are slowly starting to grow now that the weather is getting warm. Their nutrient needs will slowly increase along with their rate of growth. A good rule of thumb is to fertilize the lawn after you have mowed the grass twice. Early mowing to control cool season weeds doesn't count.

Sharpen Mower Blade

A sharp blade makes a clean cut which not only puts less strain on the mower but also leaves the lawn looking better. Dull blades leave shredded grass blades that turn brown, giving the lawn a less green appearance overall.

Manage Pests of Tree Fruit

When blooms drop and the small fruit begins to grow, those pests of various peaches, plums, and apples, such as curculio and stink bugs, begin to show up and do their vandalism to our fruit crop. Whether you use organic or synthetic options, early detection and action is important, especially if these pests have taken a toll on past year's crops.

Plant Warm Season Flowers

Seeds and transplants of warm season flowers should go in soon in order to enjoy their most productive bloom period in spring and early summer. Zinnias, sunflowers, petunias, impatiens, Mexican sunflower, begonias and phlox are a few of our many great choices for warm season blooms.

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