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Help your plants survive the Summer Sun! by Booker T. Leigh, Ext. Agent
Don’t let the summer heat keep your landscape from looking good all summer. Most ornamental plants in the landscape require some care to stay healthy and attractive. If you could walk around your landscape at least once or twice a week to check for problems before they get out of hand, this will help in having a beautiful landscape. Regular fertilization, pruning, watering, mulching and pest control are all part of a good landscape management program. Some plants, such as roses and red-tip photinia are more demanding than some plants in the landscape. Ornamental grasses, hollies and boxwood, when properly planted require very little care once they get established. Caring for ornamental plants is more difficult when they are planted in the wrong location. Azaleas, for instance, prefer moist, acid soil and shade. When planted in poorly drained soil or in full sun they become stressed and more prone to insects and diseases. Planting your plants too deep or not deep enough can cause problems in the landscape. Do not plant your plants no deeper than they was grown in the container, but have the hold twice as wide. Fertilization is important and the type of fertilizer used should be based on the plant’s need and type of plant. The basic elements in a bag of fertilizers are Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. Plants in your landscape that are grown for their leaves need more nitrogen fertilizer, such as hollies, hosta, etc. Plants that are grown for their flowers need more phosphorus, such as crape myrtle, azaleas, etc. Potassium is good to help a plant have a stronger root system. Too much nitrogen fertilizer on a plant that blooms can reduce the bloom. Here are some tips to help your plants survive the summer heat:
Mulching: Helps suppress weeds and also help retain soil moisture and reduce soil temperature. Mulch also adds organic matter to the soil. It should be no more than 2 inches thick around bedding plants
Watering: Early morning is the ideal time to water your plants. When you water in the morning, you have less wind, milder temperatures, and adequate water pressure. Also, the water has time to soak down to the roots without evaporating
Dead heading: Remove all faded blossoms. This will result in a thicker and more attractive plant. This will help control diseases and insects.
For more gardening information, call the Tipton County Extension office at (901)476-0231. Booker T. Leigh extension director.
Tipton County Master Gardeners
111 W. Washington Ave
P.O. Box 523
Covington, TN 38019-0523 901-476-0231
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