Middle South

June, 2012
Regional Report

Divide Early-Flowering Perennials

The ideal time to divide perennials is about two weeks after the last flowers have faded and the plant is set to put energy into growing new roots. After digging and dividing, work plenty of compost and slow-acting organic fertilizers into the spoil. A deep soaking of water and a layer of mulch will get new plants off to a good start.

Watch for Rose Suckers

Keep an eye out for any growth on grafted roses that emerges below the spot where the ornamental variety was grafted onto rootstock. Called suckers, these growths should be removed as soon as possible, otherwise they will weaken and overtake the desirable plant.

Build a Healthy Lawn

There are several key steps to building a healthy lawn: begin with a turf grass that is appropriate for your climate and growing conditions, water deeply once a week when rain is lacking, mow when the lawn has grown one-third above its ideal height, leave mulched clippings to enrich the soil, and prevent weeds from spreading by removing or mowing them before they set seed.

Kill Weeds with Sunlight

If you're ready to throw in the towel on a garden area that is overrun with weeds, consider using the heat of the sun, multiplied by a sheet of clear plastic, to solarize the soil. Just before the hottest time of the year, mow weeds and then soak the soil with water to facilitate heat penetration. Place a sheet of 1-mil plastic over the bed, anchoring it with stones or soil, and leave it in place for 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the climate.

Fend Off Felines

Discourage cats from jumping up into large container gardens with a mulch of prickly pinecones.

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