Gardening This Weekend: August 25, 2016

Few weeks of the year have more gardening activities assigned to them. Here are the most critical for the upcoming weekend.


• Wildflower seeds, particularly bluebonnets. They need the early fall rains to germinate and establish good roots going into the winter, so they can burst into full bloom as spring unfolds. Buy acid-scarified bluebonnet seeds for most uniform germination.
• Leafy and root vegetables, including lettuce, spinach, collards, beets, turnips and radishes, among others.
• Last call to find crape myrtles in good bloom in local nurseries. It’s always best to buy them in flower to be sure you get the colors you want.
• Just about last call for seeding bermuda. Soils will begin to cool in the next several weeks and the grass won’t develop properly.


• Root-prune trees and shrubs you intend to transplant this winter. Also root-prune wisterias that have failed to bloom in years past. Use a sharpshooter spade to sever lateral roots 15 to 18 inches out from the trunk. Do not attempt to cut any deeper roots.
• Seed heads, browned foliage and spent flowers from perennial gardens. Leave green foliage intact, but it’s always OK to trim off dead leaves.
• Mow at the recommended height. Raising the mower blade, in spite of what others may tell you, improves neither summer durability nor winter hardiness.


• St. Augustine, probably for the first time since early summer. That’s because gray leaf spot outbreaks will abate as temperatures cool. Also bermuda if it’s been more than 8 or 10 weeks since last you did.
• Annual flowers with high-nitrogen food if plants have become lethargic and shy about blooming.
• Iron chlorosis. Almost last chance to correct iron deficiency for this growing season. Add iron/sulfur amendment. Keep granules off concrete and masonry to prevent staining.


• Pre-emergent weedkiller applications must be made between now and the end of the first week of September. See related story this issue.
• Leaf scorch (browned leaf edges and tips). This is evidence of moisture stress at some point during the summer. If there has been no injury to trunk or roots, solution is to keep plant uniformly moist at all times.
• Second application of Malathion or other labeled insecticide to prevent hickory shuckworms and pecan weevils in pecans. (First should have been made first week of August.)

Posted by Neil Sperry
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