Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

July, 2004
Regional Report

Give Spider Mites a Bath

Spider mites love hot, dry, dusty plant surfaces. They hide beneath the foliage, sucking juices from plants. A strong blast of water directed upward from beneath the foliage once a week will dislodge most of them and keep the rest in check without the need for pesticide sprays.

Keep On the Weed Alert

Summer rainstorms are great for our gardens, but also for weeds which take off like rockets and will soon take over if allowed to grow unchecked. Catch them early and they are much easier to control with a light easy cultivation. Or better yet use mulch to prevent most of them from ever getting started.

Last Call for Winter Squash

If you hope to harvest a crop of winter squash or pumpkins before the first frost, now is the final call for getting seeds in the ground. Check the days to harvest intervals and choose the faster-maturing types to hedge your bet even further.

Deadhead Blooming Plants

Esperanza, buddleia, roses, and other blooming shrubs and perennials will keep blooming up a storm if you trim away the spent blooms and give them a boost of fertilizer and water. This keeps them from directing energy into seed production and invigorates them into new growth and more blooms.

Use That Mower

Want a tip to keep your turf in top shape all summer? Mow regularly. Sure, water and fertilizer are part of the program, but regular mowing may be the most effective thing you can do to keep a lawn dense and attractive. Infrequent mowing is more stressful to the turf and won't build nearly as dense a lawn.

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