Lower South

May, 2013
Regional Report

Keep Roses Tidy and Productive

Remove the spent blooms on roses to tidy up the bush and encourage more blooms. Cut the bloom stalk back to the first compound leaf with 5 leaflets. Fertilize plants with a light application of fertilizer every 6 weeks to keep them vigorous and productive.

Thin Fruit Trees for a Better Harvest

Fruit trees usually set more fruit that the tree can bear. Without thinning limbs may break and fruit will be small and lower quality. Thin peaches to 6" apart and plums to 4". Thin pears and apples to one per cluster.

Recycle Grass Clippings

Recycle you clippings when you mow. The best way is to mulch them back into the lawn. Those clippings contain the perfect blend of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other nutrient for feeding turf. Mulched back into the lawn they break down to feed the grass as a free, organic fertilizer.

Fertilize Growing Vegetables and Flowers

Those spring transplants are growing rapidly now and will benefit from light weekly fertilizing. The extra nutrition keeps them vigorous and productive. Tomatoes and peppers put a lot of energy into fruiting as do annual flowers, which are bred to bloom up a storm! While they will survive with few extra nutrients, they do their best when kept at an optimum level of nutrition.

Check for Plum Curculios

Those pesky curculios that leave you mourning over "wormy" peaches and plums start their work soon after the blooms drop. Peach and plum trees with a history of plum curculio problems should be treated to prevent this pest from destroying the fruit. Your local Extension Office can recommend an appropriate product.

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