Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern Coasts

July, 2004
Regional Report

Lighten Up Crape Myrtles

The region had much more rainfall than usual in June, just as crape myrtles were coming into flower. The weight of all those wet flowerheads and fresh leaves have many branches drooping and some breaking. Clip off the ruined flowers and an inch of two of the stem, but no more.

Controlling Moss

Tree trunks, lawns and shady areas under trees can be covered in a mossy blanket. Most is harmless and even cultivated for its interesting textures. But if it seems to be smothering the grass or rotting the roots it grows over, dust garden lime on the area to control the moss.

Control Fungus Diseases

Fungus diseases are always present; when temperature and humidity are right, they flourish. Zinnia leaves are susceptible and flowers will suffer if leaves are badly ravaged by disease. At the first sign of spots, pluck off those leaves and use a baking soda or fungicidal soap spray to slow them down.

Rejuvenate Azaleas

Though it is too late to prune azaleas without losing next year's flowers, some still need attention. If they didn't bloom, or have declined so that few leaves are left, go ahead and do rejuvenative pruning. Cut them down by half (use a saw if needed), spray with ultrafine oil, fertilize, and mulch.

Plant Pumpkins

Plant pumpkin seeds now for decorating and jack o'-lanterns. Choose centerpiece shapes like Cinderella's coach, or rounded and smoother varieties for carving. Minis can grow up a trellis, but bigger types need room to crawl. Plant three seeds at the center of a slightly raised hill with 6 feet between hills.


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