▪ Plant spirea. There are many varieties to choose from. I like Goldmound with its pink flowers, compact growth, disease resistance and lime green leaves during the growing season. This is a “Todd Terrific” selection. Also look at spirea Anthony Waterer, Bridal Wreath and Gold Flame. There are so many varieties, be sure to check the mature sizes. Spirea loves full sun, is deciduous and is easy to prune.
▪ Now is the time to sod or seed warm-season grasses. Warm-season grasses are varieties such as Centipede, Bermuda and Zoysia. Remember to prepare the area by removing weeds, tilling the soil and adding amendments, such as fertilizer, as needed.
▪ Add mulch to flower and shrub borders. This will reduce the number of weeds, and you will have to water less often. A 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch is good. Types of mulches to use include pine straw, mini pine bark nuggets and pine bark mulch.
▪ Perk up the flowers growing in containers. Add liquid fertilizer to container gardens every month. Use a half-strength solution.
▪ Begin “deadheading” summer annuals and perennials. This is the process of removing old flowers from plants. Deadheading extends the flower time by preventing seed production in flowers.
▪ Fertilize roses with 10-10-10 slow-release fertilizer. Apply fertilizer every other month.
▪ Encore azaleas, which bloom twice a year, should be pruned immediately after they bloom.
▪ Plant warm-season vines now for a splash of upright color on mailboxes, fences, lamp posts and arbors. Good choices include mandevilla, purple sweet potato vine, purple hyacinth bean vine and blackeyed Susan vine.