Gardening This Weekend: July 28, 2016

Take close note of your plants several times weekly. It takes only a day or two for dry plants to die. Conserve water whenever you can, of course, but often just a few carefully timed waterings over the course of a summer can save you hundreds of dollars in replacement plants.


• It’s prime time for planting cucumbers, crookneck and zucchini squash, bush green beans, and corn if you have room for a 20×20-ft. plot (required for good pollination).
• Annuals, including zinnias, marigolds and celosias for rich fall colors.
• New lawngrass from seed, sod, plugs or by hydromulching. Delaying much longer risks possibility of grass not being well established before winter.


• Bush roses by one-third, each cut just above a bud facing away from the center of the plant. This applies to areas where rose rosette virus has not become epidemic.
• Continue to mow lawn at the recommended height for the type of grass that you’re growing. Raising the mower to a high setting encourages thin turf, much more susceptible to invasion by weeds.
• Spent seedheads and dried flower stalks from perennial gardens.


• Bermudagrass if it’s been more than 8 weeks since last you fed it. Apply an all-nitrogen fertilizer that has half or more of its nitrogen in slow-release form.
• Acid-loving plants that are showing iron deficiency (yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on the newest twigs) with iron and sulfur product. Sweep or blow it off brick, stone or concrete that could be stained by the iron.
• Patio pots and hanging baskets at least weekly with a high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food.


• Apply preventive spray of Malathion or other labeled insecticide to pecans to protect the fruit from hickory shuckworms and pecan weevils. First spray in next 7 to 10 days. Follow-up spray two or three weeks later.
• Webworms and tent caterpillars can show up on pecans, persimmons, mulberries and walnuts at any time. Trim them out at first sighting using a long-handled pole pruner. Avoid power lines within 30 to 35 feet of where you’ll be working.
• Sticky residue on tree and shrub foliage is probably the honeydew excreted by aphids, lace bugs and other sucking insects. Apply contact insecticide, but next year start earlier with a systemic product.
• Apply the original Image or Sedgehammer to eliminate nutsedge in your lawn and landscape. Timing is critical, so first application should be made now.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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