Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

August, 2000
Regional Report

Water Well

A lot of water is wasted in the garden and landscape by overwatering or by applying too little water too often. Plants do best when they are given a good soaking and then allowed to dry out a bit before watering again. Giving them a light sprinkling every day just increases vulnerability to disease and encourages a shallow-rooted, water-dependent plant.

Summer Fruit Tree Care

Fruit trees are setting fruit buds for next spring and should not be allowed to get too dry. A weekly soaking every 10 to 14 days when it has not rained will help keep them healthy and vigorous. Any sucker shoots from the tree's base or water sprouts growing up into the canopy of the tree can shade out the interior of the tree and reduce future fruit set.

Controlling Scale Insects

Keep an eye out for scale infestations on ornamental trees and shrubs, as well as fruit trees. These insects can build up over the summer if left unchecked. Summer oil sprays will help keep them under control. Good coverage of the insects with the spray is important since it works not by poisoning but by smothering them.

Fertilize Flowers

Fertilize flowering annual and perennial flowers every month to keep them vigorous and blooming up a storm. They need lots of energy and proper nutrition to produce blooms. Select a product with plenty of nitrogen to keep up their vigor, but that also includes smaller amounts of phosphorus and potassium.

Leave Grass Clippings In Turf

Keep returning clippings to the turf (instead of bagging and removing them) when you mow. They will help mulch the soil surface and will slowly decompose to feed your lawn with nitrogen. In a month or so, winter weeds will be germinating, and a good coating of mulched clippings can help deter their seeds, which are especially troublesome in a thin stand of turf.


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