Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

May, 2001
Regional Report

Plant Celosia

Plume-type celosia make great filler flowers between plants in sunny beds because of their spiky upright form. Those that bloom yellow are especially easy to mix with annuals. Pinch off any old plumes when you set out bedding plants, and the new ones will be extra large and full.

Pinch Back Sage

After established sage plants flower, pinch back plants by half their size to help force new stem growth. Plants are much more attractive when they have a fresh set of gray-green leaves. When new stems are 4 inches long, take a few cuttings and root them indoors in a pot filled with damp sand.

Stake Lilies

Tie tall Oriental lilies to slender bamboo stakes to support the flowers. With bushier Asiatic hybrids, make a trellis of twine woven between wood stakes. If you haven't done so already, feed all lilies a mix of 1 part bulb fertilizer and 1 part compost spread around the base of the plants.

Fertilize Warm-Season Grasses

Now that Bermuda and zoysia grasses have emerged from their winter rest, fertilize them with an organic or timed-release fertilizer formulated for lawns. Use a spreader to get even coverage and then give your lawn a good soaking if rain is not expected for several days.

Harvest Strawberries

Gather ripening strawberries before slugs beat you to them and pile on more mulch if needed to keep the berries from touching the ground. Berries sitting on the ground are more prone not only to slug damage but also to rotting.


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