Gardening This Weekend: June 30, 2016

• Tomato transplants this weekend. If you missed my story last week, better read it now. Timing is critical! Call ahead to be sure your favorite nursery has transplants available.
• Pumpkins for Halloween. Stay with small and mid-sized varieties. The plants grow large, so provide ample space.
• Crape myrtles of colors and mature sizes that meet your goals and space available. Again, see our story from last week.
• Heat-tolerant annuals and tropical plants. Buy acclimated plants at the nursery – plants that have been grown in the type of conditions you will be providing for them.


• Vigorous shoots of spring growth from abelias, elaeagnus, Lady Banksia roses and other shrubs and vines.
• Last call to remove blackberry canes that bore fruit one month ago. They will never bear fruit again and will only make next year’s harvest far more difficult. Use long-handled lopping shears for easiest pruning.


• Bermuda turf that is pale green and producing seedheads — apply all-nitrogen lawn fertilizer (half or more of the nitrogen in slow-release form).
• Patio containers with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food every two or three times that you water them. Also apply encapsulated fertilizer for sustained feeding.
• Iron/sulfur soil amendment to correct iron chlorosis of shrubs, vines. It is impractical to try to correct iron deficiency in shade trees. Keep iron products off walks, patios and drives that could be stained.


• Chinch bugs either are in your St. Augustine or soon will be, always in hottest, sunniest part of your yard. Grass will appear dry, but will not respond to irrigation. The small black insects with white spots on their wings will be visible in the interface of dead and dying grass.
• Leafrollers are appearing on vinca groundcover, redbuds, sweetgums, cannas and other plants. Leaves will be cemented together. Systemic insecticides will control them, but only if given a three-week head start.
• Bagworms on evergreens such as junipers, cypress and arborvitae. Spray with general-purpose insecticide as long as they are feeding, but you’ll have to pick them off by hand once they attach to the twigs.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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