Gardening This Weekend: August 10, 2017
At least do a quick scan through our list this week. Some of these things will be here for the final time of the year. Others must be done soon. You’ll see still others that have just entered the fray.
• Cole crops. Set out vigorous nursery transplants, including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
• South Texas gardeners, finish planting beans, squash, cucumbers.
• Fall color zinnias, marigolds and celosias. Buy potted transplants that are in bud but not yet in bloom whenever possible.
• Dig and divide crowded daffodils, jonquils and narcissus before new root growth begins.
• Rose bushes by one-third to reshape the plants and increase vigor for fall bloom. Each cut should be made just above a bud that faces out from the center of the plant. Note that in the DFW area you should also be checking to be sure your roses don’t have the fatal rose rosette virus. It is epidemic in and around the Metroplex. Infected plants must be removed immediately. I have much more information on my website.
• Flowers from coleus, basil, mint, caladiums and other plants where flower buds and flowers stop production of new foliage.
• Iron/sulfur additive to correct iron chlorosis in iron-deficient plants. Look for yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on newest growth first. Function of the sulfur is to acidify the soil so that the iron will remain soluble as long as possible.
• Bermuda turf with all-nitrogen lawn food in which half or more of the nitrogen is in slow-release form. Do not fertilize St. Augustine for another 3-4 weeks to avoid late-season outbreak of gray leaf spot (fungus that is exacerbated by applications of nitrogen).
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Armyworms continue their onslaught of bermuda and zoysia turf across Texas. If you’re seeing browned areas in what you feel is a properly irrigated lawn, check closely for signs of the pests. Here is the story we ran on them last week.
• If you have browned, dry and dying spots in St. Augustine, instead of armyworms (which normally don’t feed on St. Augustine), that’s probably chinch bugs. Look at the interface of the dead and healthy grass. You’ll probably find small black insects flitting around there. Look for irregular white diamonds on their backs. Treat with a labeled lawn insecticide. Here is a short video that Facebook friend Louise S. posted on my page a few days ago. It shows a chinch bug rather clearly. (Thanks, Louise!)
• Spider mites are turning leaves of marigolds and many other plants tan right now. You’ll also see very fine webbing forming on the leaves. They are not to be confused with damage of lace bugs. They also cause tan spots, but lace bugs do not form webs and they leave waxy black specks (excrement) on the backs of the leaves.
• If you have nutsedge (nutgrass) in your lawn, this is your last call to apply Image or Sedgehammer to eliminate it. Both products need several weeks of warm soils to complete their work. (See related story this issue.)