Gardening This Weekend: June 16, 2016

It’s “make it or break it” time in your landscape and garden. There are things you must do, and waiting even a few days can spell disaster. Without wanting to scare you, here are this week’s assignments.


• Hot weather color. Don’t assume anything. Ask your Texas Certified Nursery Professional (mostly at local independent retail garden centers) to show you the types that stand up to the heat. This list from my FB page’s “Notes” is a good start.
• Crape myrtles. They’re in full bloom in Texas nurseries right now. Buy the color and height that will give you the best look. Here is a list from our Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney website.
• New lawngrass. It will become much more difficult with each increasing degree to get the new grass established. And a quick warning: if you’ve tried grass beneath a tree and watched it fail, you probably have too much shade and grass just won’t make it. Switch to a shade-loving groundcover instead.


• Blackberries immediately. Your goal is to remove the canes that just bore fruit. They will never bear again and will make subsequent harvests incredibly difficult.
• Perennials as they finish blooming to remove spent stalks and blossoms, also browning foliage.
• Odd stem shoots from abelias, Lady Banksia roses, elaeagnus and other vigorous spring growers. Do so branch by branch, not with hedge trimmers.


• Container plants each time that you water them. Nutrients leach out of their root zones very quickly with watering. Use a high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food.
• Turf, groundcovers, flowerbeds and almost all other plants with an all-nitrogen fertilizer that has half or more of its nutrients in slow-release form.
• Iron and sulfur to correct iron deficiency. Look for yellow leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on the newest growth first. Keep iron products off walks and walls that could be stained.


• Bagworms, webworms, lace bugs, spider mites and leafrollers are beginning to show up across Texas. See issues over the past couple of weeks for more information.
• Last call for second application of pre-emergent weedkillers Team, Dimension or Halts to prevent germination of crabgrass, grassburs. If you did not make first treatment in March, save the effort now. This one is only a “booster shot” intended to supplement the earlier treatment.
• Chinch bugs in hottest, sunniest parts of St. Augustine lawns. Here are other diagnostics from my Facebook page “Notes.”

Posted by Neil Sperry
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