Gardening This Weekend: May 4, 2017
Here they are, short and sweet – your prime tasks for the first weekend of May.
• New turf from sod, seed or sprigs. May is the very best month of the year to start new lawns. Non-negotiable: rototill lightly and rake to a smooth grade.
• Hot-weather annuals. I gave you a list of my 10 favorite choices here last week. If you missed them, here’s that list once again.
• Perennials from quart and gallon containers while nurseries have their very best supplies of the year. Do your homework ahead of time to know size, blooming times of each type that you choose.
• Dead flower stalks from early spring perennials, but leave green foliage in place until it yellows and dies.
• Damaged or dead branches from trees and shrubs, whether from this past winter’s cold or some type of injury. Hire a certified arborist for limb removal from trees. Leave climbing to the pros.
• Mow lawn at recommended height. Common bermuda at 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches. Hybrid bermuda heights will depend on the variety, generally 1/4- to 3/4-inch. You will need a reel mower in most cases. Zoysias at 2 to 2-1/2 inches. Buffalograss and fescue at 3 to 4 inches.
• Turf with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer if you have not fertilized earlier this spring.
• Annual flowers and vegetables with same type of fertilizer as for lawns on 3- or 4-week intervals. Soil tests have repeatedly shown that most Texas soils have excessive amounts of phosphorus (middle number of the analysis).
• Liquid or water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer for patio containers and hanging baskets. Supplement with timed-released pellets.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Take All Root Rot (TARR) may be visible in St. Augustine lawns. Look for large areas of yellowed, lethargic grass. Here is much more information from last week’s e-gardens.
• Italian cypress, Leyland cypress and Blue Point junipers are being ravaged by disease. Seridium canker is attacking the two cypresses and Phomopsis canker is attacking the juniper. There is no control for either. Trim out the dead wood and try as much as you can to reshape the impacted plant. It will, however, be difficult.
• Rose rosette virus is rampant in the DFW area. This virus is fatal, and affected plants must be removed as soon as it is observed. Look for extremely thorny stems, reddish and very strong “bull” canes and buds that do not open properly. There is no control for the disease and no way to protect against it. Fortunately for many of you, it is primarily seen in the Metroplex and not so much in the rest of the state. We have much more information and photos on my website.