Gardening This Weekend: May 30, 2019

Some of the things I’ve listed below are really time-sensitive. Check them out and be sure you don’t fall behind.

Crape myrtles as they come into bloom in Texas nurseries. Check each plant’s expected mature height so you won’t have to “top” it to keep it in bounds.
Hot-weather annuals such as trailing lantana, pentas, angelonia, purslane, moss rose, fanflower, firebush and, from foliage: purple fountaingrass and copper plants.
Tropicals to enhance pool and patio settings, including bananas, hibiscus, elephant ears (shade), crotons, bougainvillea and mandevilla among others.
New lawngrass from sod, seed or plugs.

Any branches on trees, shrubs that were killed by winter’s cold weather.
Low-hanging branches that are casting excessive shade onto lawn. (Wait until mid-July to prune oaks to lessen chance of oak wilt invasion. Fungal mats are still active now.)
Branches that have been damaged by spring storms.
Erratic new shoots on shrubs, groundcovers, but maintain natural growth forms. Avoid rounded and square shearing whenever possible.

Turfgrass with second feeding of high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form.
Spring-flowering shrubs and vines to encourage new growth this summer. They will produce flower buds for next year’s bloom on that new growth.
Iron and sulfur soil acidifier to correct chlorosis (yellowed leaves, dark green veins, most prominent on newest growth first).
Hanging baskets and container plants with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food each time that you water.

Continued Below

Second application of pre-emergent to prevent germination of crabgrass, grassburs. Apply Dimension, Halts or Balan granules followed by a good watering. If you did not make first application in March, this application will be useless. While you’re buying this round of pre-emergent herbicide, you might want to stock up for your fall application (August 25-September 5). Pre-emergents are harder to find then. Store them dry in the garage and they will be fine.
• Bagworms feeding on junipers, cedars, cypress, arborvitae and other cone-bearing plants. They can ruin these plants in just a few weeks. Spray while bags are still 1/4-inch long if possible, but certainly while the larvae are still mobile and feeding actively. Bacillus thuringiensis or almost any general-purpose insecticide will eliminate them.
Chiggers and mosquitoes. It’s probably easier to treat yourself than to treat all of your world. Apply DEET insect repellent to keep them away. Spray all exposed flesh. For chiggers, spray feet, ankles and calves, then spray outside of shoes, clothes as well.
Fleas are abundant this year. Apply labeled insecticide to yard, groundcovers, bare ground where pets may visit, even up sides of tree trunks, fences and walls. Treat or wash pet’s bedding, and apply vet-recommended product, perhaps containing Fipronil, for long-term help with the pests.
Webworms in pecans, other trees. Prune small webs out of canopy before they overtake branches. Spraying is not efficient and requires power equipment.
Early blight causing lower leaves of tomatoes to turn yellow, then quickly dried and brown. Apply labeled fungicide.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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