Gardening This Weekend
I wouldn’t send you out into the heat for just any old routine gardening job. Here are the ones that matter most at this time.
• Turf from sod or plugs, including St. Augustine, zoysia and bermuda. You can seed bermuda now if you’re really careful, but you’re going to have to water it for 5 minutes morning and evening for the first 10-14 days to get it going.
• Fall vegetables, including beans, corn, squash, cucumbers, peppers and Irish potatoes. See related story this issue.
• Order spring Texas wildflower seeds for planting in 4-6 weeks. Watch for details at that time.
• Oak trees as needed to repair damage and remove dead branches. Oak wilt mats are inactive from mid-summer through fall and into late winter, so mid-July through Valentine’s Day are the prime times for pruning oaks. Seal all cuts with pruning paint at any time of the year.
• Even up purple wintercreeper and Asian jasmine beds that have become uneven. Trim trailing vinca groundcover beds that have been infested with leafrollers, then apply a high-nitrogen, lawn-type fertilizer to stimulate regrowth and water deeply.
• Deadhead perennial and annual beds to remove seed stalks and dead foliage.
• New flower and vegetable transplants with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to help them establish most rapidly. Repeat weekly.
• Apply iron product to correct chlorosis (yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on newest growth). Hopefully product will also contain iron to help keep the iron in a soluble form long enough for it to be taken into the plants’ roots.
• Patio pots and hanging baskets with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food with each watering. Nutrients are used by the plants rapidly, plus they leach out of the porous potting soils.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Chinch bugs are terrible this year. Hardy a day goes by without my being asked several times about them in St. Augustine turf. See related story last week.
• Lacebugs suck the color out of leaves of loropetalums (fringeflowers), azaleas, Boston ivy, pyracanthas, cotoneasters, bur oaks, chinquapin oaks, sycamores and many other types of plants. Most insecticides will control them, but the green won’t return to the old leaves. New growth should be normal.
• New plantings of trees and shrubs from this spring must be watered by hand using a hose and water breaker or bubbler. Sprinkler irrigation alone will not be sufficient.