Gardening This Weekend: May 3, 2018
If you’re heading out to the garden center tomorrow to get ready for the weekend, here are things to consider.
• 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.
• New turf from sod, seed or sprigs. This is absolutely the best time of the year to start new lawns. Non-negotiable: rototill lightly and rake to a smooth grade.
• 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.
• Dead flower stalks from early spring perennials, but leave green foliage in place until it yellows and dies.
• Dig and remove roses infected with rose rosette virus. See information I have on my website.
• Liquid or water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer for patio containers and hanging baskets. Supplement with timed-released pellets.
• 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).
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Chiggers will begin to show up in South Texas soon, in North Texas in a week or two. Rather than trying to spray everything around you, it’s usually easier just to apply a DEET repellent to your legs, arms and clothing before you go outdoors. You’ll be protecting yourself from mosquitoes at the same time.
• Poison ivy. Look for leaves with three leaflets, generally on vines, but in open areas they may appear on free-standing low plants. Apply a broadleafed weedkiller (containing 2,4-D) to eliminate it, but remember that all parts of the plant, stem and root tissues included, have the oil that causes the allergic reactions.
• 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.