Lower South

August, 2011
Regional Report

Maintain Outdoor Foliage Plants

Plants grown for their attractive foliage will benefit from irrigation as needed to maintain moderately moist soil and a light application of fertilizer to help maintain vigor and attractive foliage through the summer season. Apply one half inch of compost or one third cup of turf type fertilizer per 10 square feet of soil surface. Then water it in well.

Remove Spent Blooms On Annual and Perennial Flowers

Blooming plants often are left with dried, unattractive blooms after the flowers fade. Use hand pruners to snip off the spent blooms, a process known as "deadheading," to keep the plants tidy and attractive. If bloom production is waning, a little fertilizer and watering may help encourage vigor and rebloom.

Maintain Soil Moisture for Fall Bearing Trees

Fruit and nut trees that bear their crops in the fall, such as pecans, persimmons, Satsuma oranges, and a few other citrus species, need adequate soil moisture during the summer to help prevent fruit drop and to produce a full-sized quality harvest in the months to come. In the absence of rain, provide the trees a good soaking irrigation throughout the area beneath the branch spread by applying 1 inch of irrigation once a week.

Use Summer Heat to Improve Soil

If you have a garden area not currently in production, this is a good time to spade or rototill some organic matter such as spent hay, manure, leaves, or grass clippings into the soil. When incorporated into the warm, moist soil these materials will quickly decompose, adding to the organic matter and nutrient content for the next planting.

Plant Warm Season Vegetables for Fall

This is the time to plant some of the warm season vegetables for the fall garden. Planting now allows them time to grow and bear fruit before the arrival of cold weather shuts them down. Among the vegetables to plant are beans, summer squash, cucumbers, and potatoes (red, white or baking). You might also want to sneak in a late planting of peppers or warm season greens.

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