Gardening This Weekend: June 21, 2018
We’re making the turn into full-time summer in our landscapes and gardens. Here are the things that matter the most right about now.
• Fall tomato transplants between now and the end of the first week of July.
• New turf from sod, plugs or seed. You’ll have to water at least daily, perhaps morning and evening, for the first couple of weeks to help the grass get established.
• Crape myrtles while nurseries have their best supplies of the year. Plants are in bloom now so you can match your chosen colors. Look carefully at each type’s mature size to be sure all will fit the spaces you have for them.
• Hot-weather annuals to provide color now until frost. Your Texas certified nursery professional can guide you to the best choices.
• Spring- and early summer-flowering perennials to remove spent flower and seed stalks.
• Leggy annuals, including begonias, coleus, copper plants and others to keep plants more compact.
• Bermuda lawns with all-nitrogen fertilizer (half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form). Do not feed St. Augustine during heat of summer if gray leaf spot fungus has been a problem in years past.
• High-phosphate, liquid root-stimulator fertilizer monthly to newly planted balled-and-burlapped trees and shrubs for first year in landscape.
• Iron with sulfur additive to correct iron deficiency (yellowed leaves with dark green veins most visible on newest growth at tips of twigs). Keep iron products off brick, mortar, stone and concrete due to staining.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Webworms forming webs in pecans, persimmons, walnuts and other trees as larvae feed on foliage. It may be easiest to prune out small webs as they develop. Use long-handled pole pruner, and be very mindful of any power lines that might be nearby. Or you could spray with a labeled organic or inorganic insecticide if the webs aren’t too high in the air. Include one drop of liquid dishwashing detergent with the spray to help it break the surface tension of the webs so spray can penetrate.
• Chinch bugs in hottest, sunniest areas of St. Augustine. Grass will appear dry but will not respond to irrigation. The bugs themselves will be visible in dying areas (not in dead grass). They are BB-sized, black with white diamonds on their wings. Apply labeled insecticide as soon as you identify them. They can kill large patches within a few days.
• Lacebugs attack blades of American elm, sycamore, bur oak, azalea, pyracantha, boxwood, Boston ivy and other plants, turning them mottled tan. You will see black peppery specks (excrement) on backs of leaves. Apply general-purpose insecticide to stop further damage.
• Spider mites attack beans, tomatoes, marigolds and a large percentage of our landscape and garden plants. They, too, produce fine tan mottling but you won’t see the black specks of excrement. Thump a suspect leaf over white paper. The mites will be very tiny, and if present they will start moving across the paper. Several insecticides are labeled for control of spider mites, although you’ll often need to repeat a couple of times.