Gardening This Weekend: August 23, 2018
Here are your most timely tidbits for this watershed season. I’m going to put the most critical of them all up at the top.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• APPLY FALL PRE-EMERGENT GRANULES NOW! You get only this one chance to live life without annual bluegrass (Poa annua), rescuegrass and ryegrass, among other annual grassy winter weeds. Pre-emergent weedkillers Dimension, Halts and Balan will prevent germination of the weeds’ seeds, and that sprouting will begin with the first cooling fall rains. If you expect to prevent henbit, clover, dandelions and chickweed, apply Gallery pre-emergent granules in the same time period. See related story on all of this in this issue. At least with these broadleafed weeds you do get a second chance later. You can apply a broadleafed weedkiller spray in November to kill them before they get large. With the grassy weeds, there is no second chance.
• Armyworms may be feeding on bermuda turf. See related story this issue.
• Fall webworms are forming their webs in pecans, walnuts, persimmons and other trees. Use a long-handled pole pruner to eliminate all the webs you can safely reach before they become large. Be aware of power lines nearby.
• Wildflower seeds in lightly turned soil in a sunny, well-draining location. Do not sow within lawn areas. Wildflowers do not compete well with turf. Spring-flowering types, for example, must be left in place long enough to go to seed. By then turf will have needed several mowings.
• Fall-flowering bulbs immediately, including oxblood lilies, spider lilies, naked lady lilies and autumn crocus (sternbergias). Dig and divide spring-flowering jonquils and narcissus before they start to produce new roots for the upcoming season.
• Pinch flower stalks from basil, coleus plants. If you allow them to go to flower they will quit producing new foliage.
• Long “fishing-pole” shoots from abelias, elaeagnus, Lady Banksia roses and other vigorous plants to maintain good form into square or round shapes. Whenever possible avoid formal shearing.
• Frozen or broken branches from crape myrtles and other shrubs and trees to take advantage of fall burst of new growth. Reshape plants in the process.
• Bermuda turf with all-nitrogen food for fall green-up. Find one with a high percentage of that nitrogen in slow-release form.
• Annual color plants that have stalled out after the hot weather with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food for a boost of new growth.
• Iron additive with sulfur component to help correct iron chlorosis (yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominently displayed on new growth). Your time to treat for iron deficiency in plants is running out for this growing season.