Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

August, 2003
Regional Report

Last Call for Summer Veggies

Now is the final planting period for any warm-season vegetable crops, including summer squash, green beans, okra, and cucumbers. Potatoes have a small window around mid-August where they can be planted for a fall crop.

Beware the Webworm Invasion

Many parts of the south are seeing a major infestation of fall webworms. These defoliating caterpillars are especially fond of pecan, mulberry, and wild cherry trees. Break their webs with a long pole daily to expose them to predators and treat with a product containing B.t. when caterpillars are still very young.

Build Soil For Better Gardens

Our warm southern soils really burn up organic matter. Add compost, manure, and other forms of organic matter now to prepare the soil for the upcoming fall planting season. Mix in an inch or so as deeply as is practical, and remove any persistent weeds that have invaded the beds.

No Suckers Allowed

Fruit trees in a vigorous state often send up sucker shoots from the base or watersprouts from the major scaffold branches. These are vigorous upright shoots that are unfruitful and shade out the productive branches in the tree. Remove them periodically throughout the summer, but especially now that trees are setting buds for next year's crop.

Maintain New Woody Ornamentals

The first summer season is a killer for new tree and shrub transplants. They may have been in the ground for a few months now, but their roots are still very confined and depend on a regular soaking to stay moist and healthy. Keep them moist to insure survival and by next summer they will be less dependent on such frequent watering.


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