Gardening This Weekend: June 15, 2017

Mid-June can be a very active gardening time. Take a scroll through our list of things to do and check off those you’ll want to tend to over the next three or four days.


Lawngrass from seed, sod or plugs. Water daily (or more often) until grass takes root and starts growing actively.
Hot-weather annuals, including purslane, moss rose, trailing lantanas, angelonias, fanflowers, pentas, copper plants, firebush, Gold Star esperanzas and purple fountaingrass.
Crape myrtles while in full bloom so you can see the exact shades. Read labels carefully to determine maximum heights. Choose one that fits space you have available so you’ll never have to prune it to fit.


Elongated shoots from shrubs to keep them attractive. Avoid formal shearing to maintain natural look.
Pinch growing tips out of coleus, copper plants, Mexican bush salvias, fall asters, mums and other plants that tend to grow lanky.
Remove flower buds from basil, coleus, caladiums, lambs ear.
Remove blackberry canes that have just borne fruit since they will never bear again. Pinch growing tips out of new shoots to keep them compact.


Last application of fertilizer to St. Augustine until early fall (to lessen chance of gray leaf spot). Use high-nitrogen, but half of more of that nitrogen must be in slow-release form.
Container plants with water-soluble, high-nitrogen plant food every third or fourth time that you water them. Use siphoning proportioner to pull concentrated solution into the garden hose.
Iron along with sulfur soil acidifier to correct iron chlorosis of acid-loving plants in alkaline soils. Look for yellowed blades with dark green veins showing most evidently on newest growth first. Keep iron products off stone, brick and concrete surfaces.


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Spider mites are extremely common on tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, marigolds and other garden plants currently. See story on them last week.
Chiggers are prevalent in bermudagrass and any native pasture grasses. Before going outdoors, protect yourself by spraying your legs, ankles and feet with DEET repellent. Repeat on your cuffs, socks and shoes. It’s easier to protect yourself than to spray the entire outdoors. While you’re at it, apply DEET to all exposed flesh to protect against mosquito bites, too.
There is a variety of insects that will be found hanging out on plants’ twigs and small branches. When you approach them, they will move quickly away. These are leafhoppers and sharpshooters, and for the most part they are harmless. You can certainly spray them if you wish, or you can wash them off with a hard stream of water. Many of us basically just ignore them for the time being, taking no action unless they appear to be doing measureable damage later on.
Lace bugs causing pale tan mottled spots on leaves of boxwoods, pyracanthas, azaleas, Boston ivy, sycamores, chinquapin oaks, bur oaks and other shrubs and trees. Apply systemic insecticide Imidacloprid 2-3 weeks prior to outbreak dates of past years.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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