Gardening This Weekend: May 24, 2018

Thinking that you might have a little extra time to spend in your landscape and garden this weekend, I’ve assembled a list of the critical tasks. Scan through them to see how many apply.


New turf from seed (bermuda) or sod or plugs (all types). This is the very best time of the entire year to plant new lawns.
Hot weather color including fanflowers, pentas, angelonias, purple fountaingrass, lantanas, copper plants, vincas, moss rose and hybrid purslane. For shade plant coleus, wax and Dragon Wing begonias and caladiums.
Trees and shrubs as nurseries put on special sales over the Memorial Day weekend.


Winter-killed damage from crape myrtles, oleanders, figs and other plants that were partially impacted.
Mow lawn at the recommended height. Raising the blade does not improve summer durability.
Branches that were broken in recent wind storms so that no jagged stubs are left in place. Seal all fresh wounds on oaks with pruning paint to lessen chance of entry of oak wilt fungus.


Lawns with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form.
Use same fertilizer to feed landscape plants, flowers and even vegetables.
Apply iron with sulfur to correct iron deficiency in plants in alkaline soils. (The sulfur helps acidify the soil to keep the iron soluble for a period of time.) Symptoms: yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominently displayed on newest growth.

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Protect yourself on picnics by applying DEET to keep chiggers and mosquitoes away. Apply to feet and legs, shoes, hands and arms for chiggers and to head and torso for mosquitoes.
Use sunscreen to lessen your chances of visits to the plastic surgeon for cancer removals later. Trust me: I’m the voice of experience. I was out there before sunscreens were around.
Second application of pre-emergent will come due in a week or two. I’ll remind you next week, but start looking for it now. Many nurseries quit offering it after the spring rush, but they can order it in for you. Dimension or Halts granules applied in early June to prevent germination of grass burs, crabgrass. Second application is of no value if you didn’t make the first application in early March.
Insect galls are forming on leaves, twigs of many types of trees. They are harmless. They can’t be prevented or cured, so spend no time worrying about them.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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