Gardening This Weekend: August 24, 2017
We’re going to shake things up this week! For the first time in my 47 years of preparing lists like this, I’m going to change the order. You will see why right away!
ON THE LOOKOUT
• APPLY FALL PRE-EMERGENT GRANULES NOW! This is to prevent germination of annual bluegrass, rescuegrass and ryegrass seeds. Tiny annual bluegrass (Poa annua) is the big dog in this hunt. It is epidemic in lawns from mid-winter on, and if you don’t prevent its germination, you get no second chance. Apply Team, Dimension, Halts or Balan granules now and they’ll stop the germination of all these cool-season grassy weeds for the winter ahead. Important Note: Never mind the fact that these products will probably will be labeled as “crabgrass and grassbur preventers.” That’s how we use them in our spring applications. Same products applied now prevent winter grassy weeds. For more details, see related story last week.
• Use Gallery pre-emergent granules to stop germination of henbit, chickweed, dandelions and clover. At least with these broadleafed weeds you have a second chance later this fall to apply a broadleafed weedkiller spray. You have no such chance with the grassy, cool-season weeds.
• Chinch bugs turning hot, sunny areas of St. Augustine dried and dead. Small, black insects will be seen moving rapidly on the soil surface at the interface of the dead and healthy grass. Apply labeled insecticide.
• Gray leaf spot turning irregular washes of shady and sunny portions of St. Augustine yellowed. You’ll see irregular gray diamond-shaped lesions on blades and runners. Avoid nitrogen fertilizer between June 15 and early September. This fungus has been prevalent this summer. Labeled turf fungicide will also help.
• Browned bermuda is likely to be under the influence of armyworm attack. They can be stopped quickly by most general-purpose insecticides, including Bacillus thuringiensis and Spinosad.
• Sod or bermuda seed quickly to get it established before soil begins to cool. Do not apply pre-emergent weedkiller if you intend to plant new grass.
• Wildflower seeds into gently prepared soil. Full sun. Plant where they can be allowed to go to seed and where seed can mature and dry next spring and early summer. Wildflowers should not be planted into highly amended garden soils, nor should they be planted where grasses will compete.
• Fall-flowering bulbs, including spider lilies, oxblood lilies, fall crocus, naked lady lilies and others.
• Dead or damaged branches from trees, shrubs.
• Erratic shoots from shrubs, groundcover beds.
• Pinch flower stalks from coleus, basil plants to keep them growing vegetatively.
• Flowerbeds with water-soluble, high-nitrogen plant food to stimulate a rush of fall growth and bloom.
• Patio pots, hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food every two or three times that you water them to replenish nutrients lost due to leaching.
• Iron-deficient plants with iron/sulfur amendment. Time for treating this season is rapidly running out. Keep iron products off walks, patios and drives that might be stained.