Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

April, 2001
Regional Report

Prevent Weed Problems

For easy weed control cover the area with four to six sheets of newspaper and cover the paper with leaves or other mulch. This will keep weeds in check for several months. If the weeds are already too tall to cover with newspaper, use a string trimmer of mower to cut them back and then to the paper and mulch works!

Fertilize Annuals

Remove spent annual flowers, trim back excessive growth, and apply fertilizer to keep annuals blooming. Annual flowers such as petunias spend a lot of energy producing all those blooms. Trimming and feeding the plants when they look ragged will work wonders to rejuvenate their vigor and extend the useful life of the plant.

Control Aphids

Check new tender growth of plants for aphids. A few can be tolerated, but large numbers warrant control. Light infestations can be controlled with a strong blast of water to dislodge them. For more serious infestations, insecticidal soap or pyrethrin spray is a safe solution.

Feed Roses

Roses have high fertilizer requirements. On most soils, apply a complete fertilizer as new growth starts. After that application, add ammonium sulfate, cottonseed meal, blood meal, or other high-nitrogen fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks as the flowering cycle ends and new growth begins.

Buying Soil

Beware bargain soil or landscaping mixes purchased to fill in low areas or build garden beds. Poor-quality soils may contain weed seeds and tubers such as the bane of southern gardens, nutsedge. It\'s better to spend more money on a quality soil or compost that has been checked to eliminate such weeds.


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