Summer Lawn Care
FOR DADS WHO LOVE GROWING TOMATOES
Give Dad the gift of fresh tomatoes and everything he needs to grow his own. Choose from a tomato plant, tomato cage and fertilizer. Starting with seedlings hastens the growing process if he’s eager to see the fruit quickly. If Dad prefers container gardening, try a grow bag. It’s an easy way to grow tomatoes, especially in small spaces.
Additionally, Dad may enjoy a fresh pair of gardening gloves and hand tools, such as a soil scoop and hand trowel. He’ll like the soft gel comfort, giving him the perfect grip as he goes about gardening.
FOR TIME-PRESSED DADS
Give Dad the gift of time this Father’s Day. He’ll love getting a hose timer, because once it’s set up, all watering chores will be handled. He’ll notice the savings in the water bill, too.
Check out two-zone water timers. It lets Dad automatically water several areas of the garden or lawn at specified times and days of the week with some simple programming.
FOR ECO-CONSCIOUS DADS
For the Father who wants to save water and the environment, give him the gift of a rain barrel. When connected to a downspout, rain barrels collect nature’s precious resource and allows you to redistribute it to your plants.
Some rain barrels let you plant on top of the lid so it blends with the environment.
FOR DADS WHO WATCH THE WEATHER
Does your Dad constantly watch the weather? Perhaps Dad will appreciate a weather station, which makes weather watching easy and fun, too.
Today's weather stations use wireless technology with sensors that forecast the weather, indoor and outdoor temperatures, humidity and more so Dad can plan his activities accordingly.
Gifts for the Gardening Dad
"Gardening requires lots of water—
most of it in the form of perspiration".
This and That
Denise Duvic, MG
Fertilize your lawn: Warm-season lawns get hungry in the summer. Start feeding your grass as the weather warms up in late April or early May. Feed according to the fertilizer package instructions throughout the summer.
Get rid of grubs: If grubs have been a problem in your area, use a long-acting grub killer to stop. Apply this in early to late May.
Start a new lawn: Using seed, sprigs, or plugs, start lawns in the summer. Remember that the warm-season grasses that thrive in the South need plenty of water as they get established; never allow a new lawn to dry out.
Keep mowing: You're going to need to mow regularly in summer. Avoid removing more than a third of the leaf's total blade length at one time. Removing more can stress your lawn.
Aerate hard soil: Summer is also the time to loosen hard, compacted soil with an aerator. This allows air, moisture, and nutrients to reach your lawn's roots more easily.
Water as needed: Most lawns need regular watering during the summer to keep them green. On average, provide about 1 inch of water per week.Type your paragraph here.
Denise Duvic, MG
Gardening with Native Plants
Whether you have a balcony garden, a small urban lot, a 4-acre parcel or a sprawling ranch, you can include native plants in your landscape. There are many reasons to embrace the use of Mississippi’s wonderful native plants. They create beauty and interest with a progression of flowers and fruits, and they furnish food and cover for butterflies, birds and other wildlife. In addition, they: • Are adapted to our climate • Are adapted to our soils • Require little or no irrigation • Seldom require fertilizer or pesticides
Southern wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) Pale-green foliage abounds on this large evergreen that is happiest in poor soils and needs little attention. The crushed leaves offer a warm scent similar to eucalyptus, and female specimens have gray-blue, wax-coated berries.
Possum haw viburnum (Viburnum nudum) Clusters of flat-topped white blooms transition to colorfully ripening fruits through late summer into autumn. Smooth and shiny burgundy foliage joins this autumnal display.
Dwarf witchalder (Fothergilla gardenii) This slow-growing dwarf ornamental is amenable to a variety of garden environments, featuring white bottlebrush blooms in spring and colorful foliage in autumn.
Sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia) White-to-pink spikes of small, sweetly-scented summer flowers make way for dark brown seed capsules that can last until winter. Popular with butterflies and bees alike.
St. John's wort (Hypericum prolificum) A profusion of bright gold summer flowers sprinkled across a palate of dark green leaves make this compact and soil-adaptable plant a fine addition to any landscape.
American holly (Ilex opaca) Slow-spreading, attractive evergreen groundcover that comes alive with a scattering of lovely red berries in autumn and winter.
The red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) is a showy spring-flowering small tree. The tubular red flowers are highly attractive to hummingbirds.
Autumn sage (Salvia greggii) is native to Texas and produces colorful flowers all through the summer. It is drought tolerant once established and a good choice for pollinator gardens.
The Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is among the most beautiful of the native magnolias. The dark green, shiny foliage is evergreen, and the white flowers in summer are fragrant.
Woodland phlox or Louisiana phlox (Phlox divaricata) is an attractive perennial spring wildflower for sunny to partially shaded area.
Swamp sweetbells (Leucothoe racemosa) is an evergreen shrub native to the north shore. White bell-shaped flowers are produced in summer.
Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium) is among the few blue spring wildflowers. A perennial that returns to bloom every year, it grows over the winter, blooms in the spring and is dormant in summer.
The silverbell tree (Halesia diptera) is native to the north shore and is a lovely spring-flowering tree. The clusters of white flowers are produced in March or April and dangle from the branches like bells.
The foliage of Florida starbush (Illicium floridanum) smells of anise when crushed. The spring flowers are usually a deep burgundy – this is a white-flowered selection.