Gardening This Weekend: August 3, 2017
I hope your part of Texas has had a little relief from the traditional Texas summertime heat this week. At least some of you have. Here are your horticultural assignments for the next several days. At least some of them will apply to your landscape and garden.
• Bush beans, cucumbers, squash for fall garden. They germinate quickly and prosper in the warm weather of August and September.
• Marigolds, zinnias and celosias. Choose transplants that are in bud, but not yet in full bloom – they establish better and will be spectacular right up until frost.
• New sod as soon as possible to give it the most possible time to establish before weather turns cool. The same goes for bermuda planted from seed.
• If you intend to plant fall-flowering bulbs such as fall crocus (Sternbergias), spider lilies, oxblood lilies and others, buy and plant them immediately.
• Crape myrtles while selections are still good in local nurseries.
• Lawn regularly to maintain grass at recommended mowing height. Allowing grass to grow tall does not increase its tolerance of heat, drought. Keep it “low and dense” to crowd out weeds.
• If you have rose bushes that are free of rose rosette virus (see home page of my website for details), prune them by one-third, with each cut just above buds facing out from the centers of the plants.
• Do not spend time deadheading crape myrtles. They will not rebloom any more quickly than if you leave the seedheads in place.
• Bermuda turf if it’s been more than 8 weeks since you last did. Unless soil test suggests you do otherwise, apply all-nitrogen fertilizer with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form. Wait one more month to fertilize St. Augustine to lessen chance of gray leaf spot outbreak.
• Annual color beds and patio containers with water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer to stimulate new growth.
• Iron-deficient plants every 4-6 weeks with iron additive and sulfur soil-acidifier. Keep iron products off bricks, stone and concrete to avoid staining.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Armyworms turning large areas of bermudagrass brown. See related story this issue.
• Gray leaf spot in St. Augustine continues to be an issue, especially in lawns that have been fertilized recently. Nitrogen exacerbates this disease, so do not fertilize again until temperatures cool in September. See recent story from e-gardens.
• Euonymus shrubs (glossy leaves, sometimes variegated, with rounded scallops around edges) with white, crusty scale insects have outbreaks of euonymus scale. This insect has been a serious problem this year – seemingly worse than usual. Summer-weight oil sprays are of help, but it is extremely difficult to save these plants once scales develop.