Lower South

May, 2001
Regional Report

Prune Spring Flowering Shrubs


Spring flowering shrubs will set buds in mid- to- late summer for next year's blooms. Prune them soon after flowering to avoid pruning out future flower buds. Their new growth will have time to mature and be ready to set buds for next year. Keep the natural shape of the plant in mind as you prune and avoid excessive cutting except to control size.

Weed Early


Start weeding early after planting the flower and vegetable garden. Young weeds are easier to pull and doing so is less disruptive to the roots of garden plants. Weeds competing with small plants will delay flowering and reduce production. Once weeded add a few inches of mulch to prevent weed seeds from germinating.

Fertilize Tomatoes


The new hybrid types of tomatoes can really set heavy fruit loads. They need extra nutrition to grow their best. Once they start setting fruit increase fertilizing. A liquid fertilizer applied weekly or a controlled release product applied once can carry plants through the spring to early summer production period.

Apply Weed Killers Carefully


Trees, shrubs, and flowers can be damaged or killed by a careless application of weed killers. Always read and follow label directions very carefully. Instead of resorting to weed killers on lawns, focus on proper mowing, watering, and fertilizing practices to promote a dense healthy turf that significantly reduces weed problems.

Prevent Blossom End Rot


Blossom end rot is caused by a lack of calcium at the growing tip of tomato and watermelon fruit. A lack of calcium in the soil or moisture levels that fluctuate from dry to wet can lead to blossom end rot. Use a mulch to help keep soil evenly moist, especially early in the season when the first fruits are developing.

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