Gardening This Weekend: July 14, 2016

• Peppers into your fall vegetable garden. South Texas gardeners, this is last call for planting tomato transplants so that they’ll have time to mature before frost. Small and mid-sized varieties only.
• Heat-tolerant color. Best types include purslane, moss rose, Cora periwinkles, angelonia, pentas, ornamental sweet potatoes, fanflower, purple fountaingrass, crotons, Dahlberg daisies, trailing lantanas, tropical hibiscus and a lot of others.
• Crape myrtles. If you want to be absolutely sure of their colors, buy them in bloom (now). Know each variety’s mature height to be sure it will fit. Here is a great list.


• Dead or damaged branches from trees and shrubs. It’s hot enough now to prune oaks without worrying about oak wilt activity. Seal all oak cuts with black pruning paint. Do not seal other types of plants.
• If you live in DFW or other areas where rose rosette has become epidemic, remove the plants at once. They will not get better come fall. Here is what it looks like.


• Hanging baskets and container plants with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food at least weekly.
• Iron chlorosis causes leaves to become yellowed with dark green veins, most prominently on new growth. It’s common with plants that prefer acidic soils when they’re grown near or west of I-35. Use an iron/sulfur product. Keep iron away from concrete and stone that could be stained.


• Caterpillars devouring foliage of many types of plants. Apply Bacillus thuringiensis spray to eliminate them.
• Aphids causing sticky honeydew on pecans, bur oaks, chinquapin oaks, crape myrtles and others. At this point you’ll have to use a power sprayer with a general-purpose insecticide. Next year apply a systemic product according to label directions.
• Lacebugs will cause the same honeydew on leaves of bur oaks, chinquapin oaks, pyracanthas, boxwoods, Boston ivy, sycamores and other plants. Look for black specks on the backs of their leaves. Controls are same as for aphids above.
• Chinch bugs in hottest, sunniest parts of St. Augustine lawns. Grass will appear dry, but won’t respond to irrigation. The small black pests will be visible at the interfaces of living and dying grasses. Use a labeled turf insecticide to control them.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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