Lower South

August, 2012
Regional Report

Plant Warm Season Flowers for Fall

Petunias, marigolds, bacopa, angelonia, calibrachoa, zinnias, and other warm season flowers will thrive in the warm to mild days of fall. Now is the time to plant them to get them ready for a big blooming season in the months to come. Water transplants in with a soluble plant food and keep moist for a few weeks to help them establish in the hot weather.

Prepare Roses for Fall Blooms

Shear roses that repeat bloom back by one third. Then sprinkle one third cup of a complete fertilizer around evenly in a circular area extending a couple of feet outward around each bush and water it in well. This will promote a flush of new growth and better bloom production in the coming weeks of fall.

Support Fruit Trees

Several species of fruit trees are often carrying a heavy load of fruit this time of year, including persimmons, some types of citrus, and some late season pears. Prop up sagging branches to avoid limb breakage under the weight. When practical, some thinning of the fruit may be needed as well.

Plant Beans and Squash

Beans and summer squash can be planted now for a fall harvest. The plants will grow rapidly in the hot weather if provided adequate soil moisture and will ripen their crop in the cooler days of fall when their quality is at its best.

Check for Chinch Bugs

The second generation of chinch bugs of the year arrives in late summer and causes the most damage. These pests of St. Augustine turfgrass usually begin to do their damage in sunny areas, often adjacent to a sidewalk, curb or driveway. Their damage appears as drying grass that doesn't respond to watering and gradually kills the turf as the affected area expands. Early detection and control with spot treatments of an labeled product will prevent loss of turf and needless extra spraying.

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