Lower South

May, 2012
Regional Report

Harvest Peaches at Peak Maturity

Peaches and plums won't continue to ripen after being picked so it is important to harvest them at their peak quality. Look for the area on a peach that is not blushed red with color. When that area changes from green to a chartreuse, yellowish-green color, the fruit is reaching its mature stage. Another technique is to gently squeeze a fruit with your fingers and thumb. When it gives a little under the pressure it has reached its fully ripe stage.

Add Summer Color to the Landscape

Look over your landscape for places where some additional summer color should be added. This is still a great time to plant heat tolerant annuals in the sun or shady areas to give the place added appeal. Water new transplants in with a soluble fertilizer solution and keep the soil around the plant roots moist to help them establish in the hot weather.

Give Roses a Boost

Roses put a lot of energy into their spring bloom display and can tend to enter an early summer slump. This is a good time to remove spent blooms and then fertilize the plants to rejuvenate growth, which will result in more blooms in the weeks to come. Follow each fertilizer application with an irrigation to wet the fertilizer and release nutrients down into the soil.

Pinch Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are great fall blooming perennials, but can become rather lanky in growth through the course of the spring and summer. Pinch off the shoot tips now and again in mid July to create denser, compact plants for an especially attractive display of fall blooms.

Fertilize Young Trees and Shrubs

Young woody landscape plants will benefit from another fertilization now. The goal is to get the tree or shrub to grow fast to reach the desirable size as quickly as possible. Sprinkle the fertilizer evenly throughout the area beneath and just beyond the branch spread. Water the area well to move the nutrients down into the root zone.

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