Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

July, 2001
Regional Report

Harvest Okra

Harvest 4-inch long okra pods daily while they're still succulent. Frequent harvesting also stimulates the plants to produce more pods and keeps the harvest going through the heat and into the fall. Wear gloves while harvesting to avoid getting stuck by the spines on the plant.

Mow High

Now that the rains have eased off and hot weather is here, raise the cutting height on your lawn mower. Grass that's cut high resists drought better and the long grass blades shade out weeds that are trying to gain a foothold in lawn areas of your lawn.

Cut Back Petunias

Considering all the blossoms they produce, it's no wonder petunias get exhausted by midsummer. To rejuvenate them, shear back plants in half. After cutting give them a booster fertilizing them with an organic or timed-release fertilizer. New buds and blossoms will appear in about 3 weeks.

Fertilize Dahlias

It's been a good dahlia year so far. The plants keep getting bigger and fatter. Fertilize, stake, and mulch each plant. Snip off old flowers and the plant will produce more new growth and flowers culminating in a beautiful fall flower show.

Control Mildew on Crape Myrtle

Crape myrtles are easy-care plants, but this year's wet weather has given many of them a bad case of powdery mildew. To control it, prune off branches that have white mottled leaves and suckers that emerge from the plant base. With drier weather, the plant will recover.


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