Chores abound for lawn, shrubs, flowers, kitchen gardens

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Everything is coming alive with new growth and colors, and we are getting excited about what new wonders will be coming next.

By now, soil temperatures are warm enough to fertilize the grass and get the most from the nutrients in the fertilizer. We might even use a combination weed and feed fertilizer to help catch those last weeds from spring as well as catch those summer-germinating weeds.

Remember, when you apply the fertilizer you need to water afterward so it gets into the ground to do the most good. If you wait for a rain, it might be too much and could wash the fertilizer away.

One common question is how often should I water the lawn? Part of it depends upon how much rain we are getting at the time. If we are getting a nice rain once or twice a week, we do not need to water. But if we are not getting much rain, start with watering once a week and apply 1/2 inch of water.

Remember to mow your grass at the proper height for your type of lawn, be it St. Augustine (3 to 4 inches), Centipede (1 1/2 to 2 inches), Bermuda (1 to 2 inches) or Zoysia (2 to 2 1/2 inches).

It is time to apply your second fertilization to your shrubs. Apply at the dripline of your shrubs, 1 tablespoon per foot height or one-third cup per 10 square feet of bed, and water in.

Keep fertilizing roses monthly through September as they need the nutrition to keep those beautiful blooms coming. You might need to apply an insecticide and fungicide to control mites and black spot, two common pests of roses.

If your crape myrtle growth is showing a whitish-gray color, you need to treat with a fungicide to control powdery mildew, as this can affect flowering later in the season if left untreated.

Keep planting zinnias every three to four weeks to keep a steady supply of cut flowers all summer long. If you are looking to help children plant some flowers consider marigolds or zinnias as these are two easy seeds to plant as they do not care how they are planted and will delight the children as they come up quickly.

Keep planting cilantro and basil, as these two herbs become harder to find later in the summer and we seem to use these two more often.

It is time to finish planting some of those crops that like hot weather. These include Southern peas (black-eyed, crowder and white acre), lima beans and okra. Keep the ground between rows mulched to help control weeds, reduce disease problems and conserve water.

Edward Poenicke is a retired Chatham County extension agent. This article is provided in collaboration with Lawn Doctor of Beaufort County.

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