Lower South

June, 2012
Regional Report

Water Containers Often

Container grown vegetables and flowers need to be watered often, even daily, in the heat of summer. The plant's roots have a limited volume of soil from which to take up water, and are more prone to drying out quickly.

Remove Fallen Fruit

Diseases such as brown rot and insects such as the plum curculio cause fruit to shrivel on the tree or drop to the ground. Remove these promptly from the area to minimize future problems with these insects and diseases. Such sanitary measures are the first step in controlling these fruit problems.

Expand Watering Zone for New Shrubs and Trees

The trees and shrubs you planted last fall, winter, and spring are slowly expanding their root system into the surrounding soil. Extend the area you water to encourage this root development and apply a deep soaking whenever to water to wet the soil to about 8 to 12 inches.

Look for Honeydew and Sooty Mold

Honeydew is the sticky substance often seen on the upper surface of plant leaves. It is a sign that certain plant pests such as aphids, mealybugs, scale, and whiteflies are feeding above those leaves, excreting the honeydew that falls onto the plant foliage below. A black sooty mold often grows on the honeydew. If you want to prevent the sooty mold you will need to control the pests feeding above. Sometimes these pests are on a different plant, such as an overhanging tree branch.

Mow Regularly With Sharp Blade

Frequent mowing is one of the most important parts of developing a dense lawn that chokes out weed competition. Keep the mower blade sharp to make clean cuts on the grass blades and to minimize strain on the mower. The rule of thumb is to remove one-third of the leaf blade with each mowing, so the shorter you mow the more often you will need to mow.

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