Gardening This Weekend: May 25, 2017
You’re about to run out of May days to work in your landscape and garden. Here are the things you ought to look into first.
• New trees and shrubs. Watch for significant markdowns as nurseries reduce inventories before summer. Cover the plants with scraps of nursery shade fabric or old sheets to protect from highway winds. Plant immediately and water by hand every 2-3 days all summer and into the fall.
• New turf now from sod, seed or plugs.
• Hot-weather annuals now. See lists and stories in prior weeks’ e-gardens.
• Spent flower stalks on spring perennials as they finish blooming.
• Errant spring growth from shrubs, vines.
• Pinch out growing tips of coleus, copper plants, Mexican bush salvias, mums. fall asters and other annuals and perennials to keep them compact.
• Patio pots and hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen plant food every 7 to 10 days to keep them growing vigorously. Supplement with timed-release fertilizer for sustained feeding.
• All-nitrogen, slow-release lawn food to turf if it’s been 8 weeks since first feeding. Your goal with St. Augustine lawns will be to make second feeding no later than mid-June to lessen chances of gray leaf spot showing up. It is promoted by nitrogen in hot weather.
• Treat iron deficiency (yellowed leaves with dark green veins – appearing on the newest growth first) with an iron/sulfur additive.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• It soon will be time for second application of pre-emergent weedkiller granules (Team, Dimension or Halts) to prevent germination of crabgrass and grassburs in turf. Apply early June, but start looking now as supplies will not be as plentiful as earlier. Note: If you did not make first application in late February or early March, this application will be useless.
• Chiggers are active in bermuda and other grasses and weeds. Rather than trying to spray everywhere, it’s usually easier just to apply DEET repellent to your feet, ankles and legs, also to your socks and pants.
• Seridium canker continues to kill Italian cypress. Unfortunately we have no product that will prevent or control it.