Gardening This Weekend: June 8, 2017
• Tropicals, including caladiums, bougainvilleas, crotons, mandevillas, plumbagos, hibiscus, bananas and others.
• Summer annuals that can handle the heat, including copper plants, firebush, purple fountaingrass, Gold Star esperanza, fanflower, lantanas, purslane, moss rose, angelonias, pentas and Profusion zinnias.
• Crape myrtles while in bloom to ensure you get the colors you want. Be sure each variety’s mature height matches the space you have for it.
• Turfgrass as soon as possible. It becomes much more challenging to start new grass as it turns hotter.
• Wait to prune oaks until early or mid-July to reduce risk of spreading oak wilt.
• Blackberries to remove canes that just bore fruit completely to the ground. (They will never bear fruit again.)
• Erratic new shoots on elaeagnus, abelias, Lady Banksia roses and other plants as needed.
• Pinch growing tips out of coleus, copper plants, Mexican bush salvias, mums and fall asters to keep plants shorter and to remove flowers that tend to cause new growth to stall out.
• Finish fertilizing St. Augustine for spring and early summer by June 15. Feeding later will encourage development of gray leaf spot fungus. Next feeding should be held until early September.
• Patio pots, hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food weekly.
• Iron and sulfur soil acidifier to correct chlorosis (yellowed leaves with dark green veins that show first on leaves at tip ends of branches).
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Last call for second application of pre-emergent granules (Team, Dimension or Halts) to prevent germination of crabgrass and grassburs. First application should have been in late February in South Texas or early March in North Texas. If you did not make that application, there is no point in making this one.
• Early blight causes lower leaves of tomatoes to turn bright yellow in rather large blotches. They quickly turn brown and die, making it essential that you apply a labeled fungicide at first signs of infection.
• Spider mites are another problem of spring tomatoes. See our Question of the Week Number 3 this week for information on them.
• Chiggers are generating lots of “activity” currently. People want to know what to spray on their lawns and landscapes, and honestly, I suggest simply applying DEET to ankles, feet, shoes and cuffs. It’s easier to protect ourselves than to clean up the entire environment from these “invisible” critters. They will run their course by mid-summer when it turns hot and dry.