Gardening This Weekend: June 13, 2019

Mid-June marks the turn toward summer where I live and garden (DFW area). However, e-gardens is written for all of Texas. South Texas is chuckling that it’s been hot for months. But in any event, here are tasks that most Texas gardeners ought to be tackling before any more time slips away.

Heat-tolerant annual color from flowers and foliage, including trailing lantanas, pentas, purslane, moss rose, Dahlberg daisies, angelonias, fanflowers, spider flowers, mandevilla, Gold Star® Esperanza, purpleheart, purple fountaingrass, coleus, caladiums, firebush, copper plants and many others.
New turf from sod or seed. It is going to be increasingly challenging to plant bermuda from seed. The tiny seed dries out very quickly in the high temperatures. Plan on watering new plantings twice daily for 5 minutes each for the first 10-14 days.
Crape myrtles now that they’re coming into peak bloom. Protect them from highway winds on way home from the nursery. Plant them immediately. Know their mature heights to be sure you have ample space for them to grow without barbaric topping.

Spent flower and seed heads, dying foliage from perennials as they finish their bloom season.
Branches that were broken by late spring wind storms. Make all cuts flush with remaining branches or trunks. Leave no stubs. If you had trees that were damaged by this past Sunday’s high winds, be very careful who does any pruning for you. Choose an established company, preferably a certified arborist. Good ones are worth waiting for.
Mow lawn frequently to remove unsightly grass seedheads. Bermuda heads bother some people and this is the season that they form. The heads may also become loaded with harmless black smut fungus. Mowing eliminates that. Frequent mowing also keeps dallisgrass seedheads from forming, and that slows the spread of that awful weed. (See related story on dallisgrass this issue.)

Last call to fertilize St. Augustine until early September in areas where gray leaf spot fungus has been a problem in recent summers. Hot weather and nitrogen fertilizer combine to promote this disease. Turf fungicides may help with current outbreaks, but not applying nitrogen in heat of the summer is the best thing you can do to prevent it.
Patio pots and hanging baskets with a high-nitrogen, water-soluble fertilizer each time that you water them. It’s best if it also has a trace element nutrient combination in it as well.
Iron supplement to plants showing symptoms of iron chlorosis: yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on the newest growth first. Include sulfur in any soil applications to help lower the pH of the soil. The plants don’t necessarily need the additional sulfur as much as they need what it does to keep the iron soluble. Keep all iron products off masonry and painted surfaces that could be stained.

Continued Below

Last call to apply second round of pre-emergent herbicide granules to prevent germination of crabgrass and grassburs. This is the booster shot to extend the season beyond the 90 days you got from the early March application of Dimension, Halts or Balan granules. These may be hard to find now, but local independent retailers can order them in for you if you hustle. While you’re at it, buy enough for your fall application that you’ll be making in late August for the winter weeds!

Gray leaf spot and chinch bugs are already showing up. See the details on my website. Click to link to it.

Plants look like they’re “burning up?” I’m still getting questions from people with that description – even e-gardens subscribers. That’s probably spider mites. See the story we had right here last week. Here’s a link.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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