Gardening This Weekend: September 6, 2018

Rain and somewhat cooler weather across much of our state is a clue to what lies ahead. I have some critical tasks you need to tend to in the next several days. Please do take a look.


Fall-blooming annuals from quart and gallon containers for patio and entryway color this fall.
Mums, Mexican mint marigolds, Mexican bush salvias, Gregg’s mistflower and other fall-flowering perennials as you find them offered for sale in local nurseries.
Bluebonnets (acid-scarified seeds) and other spring-flowering wildflower seeds into gently prepared garden soil. Keep them moist to get them off to a good start.


 Mow Johnsongrass, grassburs, dalligrass, KR bluestem and other weed grasses frequently to remove seedheads. Also ragweed to remove sources of pollen. (Do not confuse ragweed with its inconspicuous green flowers with the non-allergic goldenrod with its lovely yellow blooms.)
Continue mowing lawn regularly to keep grass low and vigorous.


Turf with all-nitrogen food with significant percentage of that nitrogen in slow-release (encapsulated or coated) form. Turf experts tell us this fall feeding is critical. If you’ve been waiting to fertilize your St. Augustine due to gray leaf spot fungus problems in the hot weather, you should be safe to apply fertilizer now.
Water-soluble, high-nitrogen food to annual flowers and patio containers for a burst of new growth in fall’s better weather.
You’re running out of time to apply iron to chlorotic shrubs and vines such as wisterias, azaleas, loropetalums and gardenias. If you have these or other shrubs with yellowed leaves with dark green veins displayed most prominently at the ends of the branches, apply an iron supplement with sulfur included. Keep iron off masonry and painted surfaces to prevent staining.

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LAST CALL this week to apply pre-emergent herbicides Halts, Dimension or Balan to prevent germination of annual bluegrass (Poa annua), rescuegrass and ryegrass and Gallery to prevent germination of annual broadleafed weeds such as henbit and chickweed. Remember: With the grassy weeds this is your only chance to deal with them. There is no spray you can use once they are growing. Here is the story we ran two weeks ago.
If you have patio pots you plan to bring indoors for winter, start grooming them now so they can regrow and fill in. Check them for insects and apply insecticides as needed.
Be alert to stinging caterpillars such as puss caterpillars, Hagg moth and Io moth larvae and others as you work in your shrubs and taller flowers. This is the time of year they are most active. Watch for yellowjackets in hidden spots of eaves and snakes in piles of leaves.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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