Lower South

June, 2012
Regional Report

Maintain Soil Moisture for Fruit Trees

Fruit and nut bearing trees carrying a crop of fruit need adequate soil moisture. The moisture helps support foliage which produces the carbohydrates needed for new growth and good fruit quality. With some species such as citrus and persimmons, drought stress can cause significant fruit drop.

Blast Spider Mites

Spider mites love the hot, dry dusty conditions of summer. They also love many of our landscape and garden plants! One of the safest and most effective methods of controlling spider mites is with a blast of water directed upward from beneath the plant to dislodge the mites. Make sure to thoroughly apply the water to the undersides of foliage throughout the plant. Repeat weekly as needed to keep the mite populations at very low levels.

Remove Mosquito Breeding Places

Summertime is mosquito season. They proliferate anywhere there is a little stagnant water. Don't be a skeeter breeder! Check your home and landscape for places where rainwater collects and remains. Likely spots are rain gutters that don't drain properly, catch basins under plant pots, and anything around the property that can hold water such as an old tire. Use a hose to blast the old water out of birdbaths every week when you refill them with fresh water.

Fertilize Tropical Flowering Plants

Hibiscus, allamanda, tibouchina, mandevilla and other tropical flowering plants may not survive the winter in most areas of the Lower South, but they make great summer color plants. Fertilize them with a slow release product to provide enough nutrients to last through the summer or apply a standard type fertilizer in small doses every few weeks following label rates. Water as needed to maintain even soil moisture, and these heat loving plants will reward you with a beautiful show of blooms all summer long and into the fall season.

Plant Hot Weather Vegetables

This is still a great time to plant some of the heat tolerant vegetables such as okra, southern peas, Malabar, amaranth greens, and various types of melons. Keep the soil moist to help the seeds germinate and establish successfully.

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