Gardening This Weekend: September 15, 2016

Several gardening tasks must be done in the next several days. Here are the most critical.


• Sod really must be planted immediately to have a chance to develop good roots before the first freeze. That’s especially critical in the northern half of Texas, and most especially with St. Augustine. (In fact, in my own DFW lawn, I would wait to plant St. Augustine until late April.)
• Ryegrass for overseeding your lawn, also for temporary cover in bare ground. See story last week.
• Dig and divide bearded iris. Space plants 15 inches apart. If you have rhizomes left over, give them to friends or discard them. Don’t overcrowd them. Rhizomes must be shallow, barely beneath the soil’s surface.
• Fall perennials as they are sold in stores, including mums, Mexican bush salvias and Mexican mint marigolds.
• Bluebonnets and other wildflowers into suitable sunny location. Do not plant where the wildflowers will have to compete with turf.


• Stubble from perennial plantings to keep landscape tidy. Do not remove green foliage, however. It is critical in the plants’ storing “food” for next year.
• Erratic or dead branches from trees and shrubs.
• Continue mowing at recommended height. Use mowing to keep early-falling leaves from accumulating on turf. Use clippings in compost.


• Time to apply your fall feeding for turfgrass is here now. See related story last week.
• High-nitrogen fertilizer to fall flower and vegetable plantings to keep them growing vigorously in the improving weather conditions.


• Fall webworms in pecans and other trees. Spraying is difficult and inefficient. Use a long-handled pole pruner, but only if there are no power lines anywhere nearby. Let the webs and worms fall to the ground, then bag them and send them to the landfill.
• Remove ragweed plants from rural sites. If you’re on Facebook, you might want to see my post from this past Sunday to see what it looks like.
• Armyworms devouring all leaves from bermudagrass turf. They actually are more disfiguring than damaging. However, if you want to control them, most general-purpose insecticides will work.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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