Lower South

July, 2011
Regional Report

Plant Heat Tolerant Vegetables

Summer usually means we have some extra space in the vegetable garden. Despite the fact that the heat is shutting down many of our crops, there are several vegetables that don't mind the heat at all. This is a good time to plant sweet potatoes, okra, Malabar greens, amaranth greens, muskmelons (cantaloupes), watermelons and various types of southern peas including blackeye, purple hull, cream and crowder peas.

Deadhead and Fertilize Roses

Roses can continue to bloom in cycles throughout the summer if provided a little encouragement. Remove the spend blooms, a process called deadheading. Fertilize the plants with a complete fertilizer at the label rate and then water it in well. This will invigorate the bushes and get them ready for another flush of blooms.

Remove Blackberry Canes After Harvest

Blackberry shoots, called "canes," only bloom and fruit once. After harvest remove the canes that bore fruit this year by cutting them off at the ground. The remaining canes that emerged this year will fruit next year. This removal of old canes will keep your patch tidy and help prevent the development of a bramble thicket where neither man nor beast dares to tread!

Maintain Hedges

Hedges are determined to get "top heavy", putting more growth on a spreading top than in the lower regions of the hedge. Regular shearing to keep the tops no wider than the base will insure that the hedge stays dense with foliage throughout its height from top to bottom.

Give Fruit Trees Post-Harvest Care

After your fruit trees have completed their harvest season, provide a little care to help prepare them for next year. Remove dried or diseased fruit on the tree or ground to minimize insect and disease problems. Prune any vigorous sucker shoots emerging from the base and vigorous watersprouts growing upward from the major scaffold branches. Keep weeds around the tree in check with hoeing and mulching. Provide adequate moisture to prevent drought stress.

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