- Plant dahlias, elephant ear, gladiolus and caladiums now.
- Prepare spots where you intend to sod by first killing all weeds present. Use glyphosate (Roundup) or glufosinate (Finale).
- Examine the backside of euonymous and holly leaves for the white crust that signifies scale insects. Thoroughly spray leaves with horticultural oil.
- It is safe to plant tomatoes, peppers and eggplant in your garden now that the soil is warm.
- Move houseplants outdoors gradually. Never place them in full sunshine; filtered shade is best. Water houseplants more frequently with the onset of more hours of sunshine and new green leaves. Begin monthly feedings with houseplant fertilizer.
- Plant Easter lilies outdoors after removing their faded blooms.
- Mulch tomatoes immediately after planting to prevent early blight fungus from splashing from the soil onto the leaves.
- "Flowering Annuals for Georgia Gardens" is a free booklet available at your local Extension Service office. Call 1-800-ASKUGA-1 to get local office phone numbers.
- Plant the seeds of annual flowers such as marigold, cosmos, zinnia and celosia. Mix lots of soil conditioner in beds to help them be drought tolerant.
- Plant corn, bean and pea seeds now. Use a soaker hose to water vegetable rows - you'll prevent disease and weeds plus save water.
- Look for aphids clustered at the tips of fast-growing crape myrtle branches. Blast them off with a water hose and give a ground-dwelling spider a nice lunch.
- Treat for azalea lace bugs if you've had problems in the past. Insecticidal soap, horticultural oil and synthetic insecticide chemicals all work well, sprayed under the leaves.
- Look for tiny "toothpicks" on the trunk of your Japanese maple, Kwansan cherry and other small landscape trees. The Asian ambrosia beetle is spreading death-dealing fungus inside the trunk.
- Plant begonias, coleus, geraniums, petunias and vinca for summer-long color in your landscape.
- Apply Bacillus thuringiensis to cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower to ward off cabbage looper caterpillar damage as these plants mature.
- Dig, divide and transplant your crowded irises to a better location, if needed, after they bloom.
- Prune early-flowering azaleas now that they have finished blooming. Remove tall sprouts at their base, inside the shrub.
- Pinch out the growing tips of rhododendron limbs now that flowers are gone. You'll get many more flowers next year.
- Plant rosemary, basil, oregano, dill and other herbs for savory summer meals.
- Plant corn, squash, beans and peas now that the soil is quite warm. Make another planting of corn in two weeks.
From the Georgia Gardener, www.walterreeves.com