Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Lower South

May, 2001
Regional Report

Control Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew fungal disease has been especially prevalent on our southern roses, crape myrtles, rock rose (Pavonia), squash, and melons this season. Regular use of preventive sprays containing potassium bicarbonate or neem oil can help to keep it in check.

Wean Transplants off the Water Hose

Begin to wean spring transplants off the frequent water schedule used to help them get established. Reduce watering over a 2-week period and begin deep, infrequent soakings to help them develop an extensive root system that\'s more resilient to the summer heat.

Sharpen Mower Blades

Check your lawn mower blades for nicks and dents, and if damage is severe, replace the blade. Sharpen your mower blades regularly, as dull blades can cause a brownish discoloration of the cut ends of grass stems and leaves shortly after mowing, producing an unsightly lawn.

Fertilize Flowering Plants

Many of our flowering plants will need regular feeding to keep blooming all summer. Fertilize plants weekly with a liquid product or every six weeks with a dry granular fertilizer. Use slow-release fertilizers in containers and supplement those with liquid fertilizers when needed.

Stop Using Post Emergence Herbicides on Turf

Some broadleaf weed killers are designed to kill weeds after they emerge. If used during warm temperatures, in the 80s, they can weaken and damage St. Augustine and other turfgrasses. Use these products carefully, or not at all, this time of year.


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