Gardening This Weekend: August 17, 2017
Here are the things I’d rate at the top of the gotta-do list for this time of this month.
• Zinnias, marigolds, celosias and other fall-color annuals. Set out vigorous potted transplants immediately, preferably in bud but not yet in bloom.
• Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower transplants.
• New turfgrass as soon as possible to give it several weeks to establish good roots before cool weather returns.
• Pinch growing tips from overgrown coleus, begonias, other summer annuals to keep them compact through fall season.
• Arching branches extending beyond canopies of shrubs to maintain natural growth forms. Whenever possible avoid squared or globular shapes to lessen your workload.
• Bermuda lawns with all-nitrogen food to keep them vigorous and green.
• Patio pots and hanging baskets, also annual beds and fall vegetable plantings with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to promote vigorous growth up until frost.
• Iron-deficient plants (yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on newest growth) with iron/sulfur product. Keep iron off masonry, painted surfaces that could be stained.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Nutsedge (nutgrass) in lawns, beds. Absolutely last chance to apply Image or Sedgehammer to kill it. See story last week.
• Spider mites are causing fine webbing on milkweeds, marigolds and many other plants. Leaves develop tan mottling. Thump suspect leaf over sheet of white paper and look for nearly microscopic mites to start moving around on the paper. Use insecticide labeled for mites. Apply to both top and bottom leaf surfaces. Retest leaves a few days later to be sure you have achieved control.
• Webworms. Prune out new infestations using long-handled pole pruner. Spraying is difficult and inefficient.
• Chinch bugs are causing browned, dead areas in St. Augustine turf, always in hottest, sunniest parts of the lawn. Grass at first appears dry, but watering does not help. You can see the chinch bugs at the interface of healthy and dying grass. Treat with insecticide labeled for control of chinch bugs before they kill large areas of your lawn.
• Gray leaf spot is causing St. Augustine turf to develop yellowed blotches. It is worst following applications of nitrogen, so do not feed St. Augustine between mid-June and early September.