Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

April, 2004
Regional Report

Time to Fertilize the Lawn

Now that your turf is actively growing, it can use a boost of nutrition to keep it green and healthy. Select a product with a 3-1-2 or a 4-1-2 ratio of nutrients, and apply enough to supply one half to one pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet.

Be Alert for Aphids

Watch for aphids on young transplants and tender new growth. If no beneficial insects are present, a blast of water or soap spray will generally shut them down for a while, and give beneficial insects a chance to catch up. Check the plants in a week to see if another treatment is needed.

Plant Warm-Season Vegetables

The sooner you plant those warm-season veggies, the better. Squash, cucumbers, beans, and other spring crops need to have time to mature before the real heat arrives. Truly heat-tolerant crops like okra, sweet potatoes, and Malabar can wait if space is limited.

Thin Fruit Crops Early

Thin fruit on peach, plum, pear, and apple trees to prevent limb breakage and insure a good crop of large, juicy fruit. The earlier you thin, the better the effect. Space peaches at 6 inches, plums at 4 inches, and pears and apples to one per cluster.

Rejuvenate Azaleas and Other Spring Bloomers

Now that azaleas, spirea, quince, and other spring bloomers have finished flowering, go ahead and do any light pruning needed to maintain a desirable form to the bush. Then fertilize lightly and mulch the soil to get them ready for the summer months ahead.


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