Coastal and Tropical South

July, 2013
Regional Report

Plant Southern Peas

When the green beans have played out and the squash is done, it's time to plant southern peas. Just turn the finished plants under, or compost them, then plant crowders, creams, or ladypeas, MS Silverskins, purple hulls, or pink-eyed purple hull peas. Don't fertilize, but do put a soaker hose along the row in case of drought.

Hold Off on Tomato Fertilizer

If tomato plants grew lots of green leaves but didn't bloom much yet, hold back on the fertilizer. The nights are a bit warm now for fruit to develop, but heavy foliage also means the plant had more nitrogen than it needed. Let it grow, water as needed, and wait for cooler nights.

Sow Rudbeckias

Now's a fine time to make more rudbeckias. Most all the black-eyed Susans are in bloom and soon will set seed. Let heads dry on the plant, then simply crush them where you want new plants: in the garden bed or in a flat for fall transplanting.

Control Mildew on Phlox

A little mildew seldom kills a summer phlox (P. paniculata), but it can ruin her looks. The old magenta-flowered phlox and newer hybrids are susceptible, some more than others. In each case, spray with baking soda and water (1 teaspoon/1 quart) to slow down the disease, then cut the damaged stems back after flowering.

Treat Brown Spots in Lawn

If brown patches in the lawn appear and grow with each rainfall, your problem is likely a fungus disease. Hold back on nitrogen fertilizer, don't overwater, and clean the mower deck after each pass to prevent further spread. Consider a granular or spray fungicide if the problem continues.

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