Gardening This Weekend: September 7, 2017
Summertime tasks need to be wrapped up quite soon. Fall responsibilities are folding in behind them. Better read carefully. This is a critical time of the year.
• Ryegrass as a green cover all winter, but not if you have already applied pre-emergent herbicide. (See related story this issue.)
• Sod for warm-season turf as soon as possible. It’s very late to be seeding bermuda, especially in the northern half of the state.
• Wildflower seeds, including acid-scarified bluebonnets for best germination. Plant into dedicated wildflower spaces where you do not have turfgrass. They do not compete well.
• Fall-flowering bulbs as you find them in nurseries. List includes spider lilies, fall crocus, oxblood lilies and naked lady lilies. Supplies may be limited by now.
• Fall-flowering perennials as they are sold in nurseries, including Mexican bush sage, Mexican mint marigold, mums and Gregg’s mistflower.
• Dead branches from trees and shrubs. If you have dead branches high up in pecans and other large shade trees, contract to have them removed before winter. They become very brittle and may break with winter winds, ice, snow or rain. (Voice of experience.)
• Tall weeds, especially ragweed, to lessen allergies and spread of seeds. If you happen to have milkweed on a rural Texas property, however, leave it in place for the Monarchs.
• High-quality lawn fertilizer as prescribed by soil test. For most Texas soils that will mean an all-nitrogen food with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form. Water deeply after application.
• Water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer for hanging baskets, patio pots. Eventually you will want to withhold fertilizer from plants that will be coming indoors for the winter.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Fall webworms in pecans and other trees. Spraying is difficult and inefficient. Use a long-handled pole pruner, but only if there are no power lines anywhere nearby. Let the webs and worms fall to the ground, then bag them and send them to the landfill.
• Remove ragweed plants from rural sites. If you’re on Facebook, you might want to see my post to see what it looks like.
• Armyworms devouring all leaves from bermudagrass turf. They actually are more disfiguring than damaging. However, if you want to control them, most general-purpose insecticides will work.