Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Upper South

June, 2001
Regional Report

Deadhead Perennials

Deadheading perennials after flowering can make all the difference in your garden. Removing faded flowers not only improves the appearance of the plants, but in many cases encourages reblooming. Use small pruning shears and cut the faded flower stems back to a leaf or set of leaves.

Mow the Lawn

It's best to cut lawns to a height of 2 or even 3 inches. This helps the grass withstand heat and drought far better than when cropped more closely. When the weather turns dry, make sure to water lawns thoroughly once a week. Infrequent deep watering is better than daily light watering.

Keep Birds off Blueberries

There's a bumper crop of blueberries in our region this year. To keep the birds off them, resort to preventive tactics as they begin to ripen. Entire plants can be covered with plastic bird-control netting. You can also use a combination of foil ribbons, rubber snakes, plastic owls, holographic owls, "terror-eyed" balloons, and holographic magnets to frighten away our feathered friends.

Sow Sunflowers

There's still time to sow sunflower seeds in the garden for a fall crop. The giant oil seed types with the large heads are great feed for birds. Smaller-flowered multi-branching varieties make great cut flowers. Cut flower varieties grow from a few feet tall up to six feet with flower colors ranging from burgundy to pale yellow.

Add Iron to Azaleas

If the leaves on azaleas and rhododendrons start to turn yellow with dark green veins, this is an indication of an iron deficiency called iron chlorosis. Apply liquid iron chelate sold specifically for this purpose at ten-day intervals until the symptoms disappear. Consider lowering the pH this fall by adding sulfur. A lower pH will make more of the iron in the soil available to plants.


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