We are finally getting the much-needed rain to replenish the groundwater and revitalize the landscape. If we continue to receive one to two inches of rain a week, you can turn off your irrigation system and monitor the need to turn it back on.
This is the last month to prune azaleas, camellias and gardenias, as they start to set buds for next year’s flowers in the summer. Check your roses for black spot which is a leaf spot disease that thrives in humid, wet weather. Apply a fungicide spray in the morning when temperatures are cooler to avoid burning the leaves.
To control fungi, keep the leaves dry by irrigating the soil and roots only. Certain types of roses require weekly sprays of fungicides and insecticides to perform their best.
If you did not fertilize your citrus last month, you can do it now. Don’t be alarmed if you see fruit on the ground as the tree naturally drops excess fruit it can’t support.
The vegetable garden is winding down now, but you can still plant okra, Southern peas and sweet potatoes. When your tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants and other vegetables that don’t like the summer heat are finished, put the garden to bed until cooler temperatures arrive. Turn over the soil and apply compost or peat humus and work in the soil.
You can concentrate on planting bedding plants that will supply color in your flower garden. There are many native perennials you can plant, such as milkweed, blanket flower, black-eyed Susan, Stokes aster, dotted horsemint, beach sunflower, Carolina jessamine, coral honeysuckle and passionflower. The nurseries also have a large stock of annuals such as coleus, impatiens, moss rose, purslane, salvia, periwinkles and zinnias. And don’t forget the heat-loving herbs like basil, dill, fennel, marjoram, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage and tarragon.