Lower South

March, 2012
Regional Report

Control Aphids with Soap Sprays

Aphid populations start out small but can grow rapidly is left unchecked. A spray of insecticidal soap directed at the pests will reduce their numbers dramatically. This way beneficial insects that arrive later to attack aphids won't be harmed by any toxic residues left on the plants.

Mound Up Soil Around Potatoes

Potatoes tubers form as offshoots from the plant's stem. Therefore gardeners pull soil up around the stems of the plants as they grow to provide a place for the potatoes to form. Compost and decomposing leaves can also be used to "mound up" around the plants and make it easier to dig up the tubers at harvest time.

Plant Tomatoes

Tomatoes need time to grow and set fruit before the heat of summer arrives. Therefore we try to plant them as early as we can as we gamble against the arrival of a late frost. Be prepared to cover you plants when temperatures dip below about 40 degrees since it does not need to freeze to have frost.

Fertilize Cool Season Vegetables

Cool season vegetables including onions, mustard, broccoli, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, spinach and collards will benefit from some supplemental nitrogen fertilizing every few weeks to keep them vigorous. If you use a dry fertilizer sprinkle it evenly in a 12 inch area around the plants and lightly rake it into the surface inch of soil before watering the area well.

Remove Cool Season Weeds in Turf

Cool season lawn weeds are growing rapidly with the arrival of warmer weather. It is too late to effectively control them with post-emergence herbicide sprays, but you can hand pull the weeds if the infestation is not too extensive. By doing a little bit of work at a time you can remove a significant amount of weeds in those areas where thin turf has allowed for weed infestations.

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