Gardening This Weekend: May 26, 2016
Probably the last thing you want to be doing this weekend is mowing the lawn or trimming your shrubs, but still life does go on. Maybe I can help you boil the chores down to those that are most timely for the next several days.
• Only hot-weather annuals for color now through the summer.
• New lawns now, while soils are still fairly moist (in much of the state) and cool enough for the new grass (and you) to survive without massive attention.
• New trees and shrubs that you’ve bought at crazy-low, end-of-season prices. (Watch for sales.) Remember to water them by hand every three days the rest of this growing season. Sprinkler irrigation won’t be enough.
• All that bizarre new growth your shrubs have pushed up and out. Whenever possible, use hand shears rather than hedge trimmers, so you can maintain natural growth forms.
• Spent flower stalks on spring perennials once they have finished blooming.
• Reshape houseplants that you’ve taken out onto the patio. With better light (but no direct sunlight), they’ll quickly grow and fill in.
• Second application of high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen plant food to turfgrass. Water it in deeply.
• Apply water-soluble or liquid fertilizers to patio pots and hanging baskets every two times that you water them.
• Treat iron deficiency (yellowed leaves with dark green veins – appearing on the newest growth first) with an iron/sulfur additive.
• Time for the booster shot of pre-emergent herbicide Team, Dimension or Halts to continue preventing germination of grassburs and crabgrass in turf. Apply in next week in South Texas, following week in North Texas. (If you did not make the first application in late February or March, this second application will be useless.)
• Chiggers. They are omnipresent in unmowed grasses in Texas, also in pasture land. Spray DEET onto your ankles, socks, cuffs and calves. Take a hot shower as soon as you’re finished.
• Webworms in pecans and other shade trees just as they are forming. Prune them out with long-handled pole pruners before the webs become larger than softballs.