Gardening This Weekend: June 20, 2019
Almost everyone clicks into this part of e-gardens each week. It’s a good thing, too, because this is where we outline the top things you’ll want to get done in the upcoming three or four days.
• Crape myrtles, while plants are in full bloom in your favorite nursery. Choose varieties whose sizes match up with what you have available for them so you won’t feel compelled to prune them to fit later on. And choose the precise color that pleases you most.
• New lawngrasses, but be prepared to water the new turf morning and evening for about 5 minutes each time. That goes on for a week or 10 days, then cut it back gradually.
• Remember I warned you that fall tomatoes need to be planted starting next weekend and before July 4 in most parts of Texas. Start asking your favorite nursery if they’re going to be handling them for you.
• Color that can stand up to the heat from the moment you get it home from the nursery. That list includes trailing lantanas, angelonias, moss rose, hybrid purslane, Cora periwinkles and many others.
• Annuals such as copper plants, coleus and begonias that have become too leggy by pinching them back.
• Reshape houseplants that have grown erratically while indoors. This is their chance to regain good form while they’re growing outside in the shade for the summer.
• See related story on early summer pruning this issue.
• Trees, shrubs, groundcovers and annuals with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer to promote sustained growth and vigor through rest of growing season. It’s best to do it now rather than in several weeks once it’s been really hot and possibly dry for a prolonged period.
• Bermuda with high-nitrogen fertilizer that has half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form, but avoid applications of nitrogen to St. Augustine until September to lessen chance of gray leaf spot outbreaks.
• Iron-deficient plants (yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on newest growth first) can be treated with iron additive with sulfur soil acidifier to help reduce alkalinity of soil.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Chinch bugs causing dried looking areas in hottest, sunniest parts of your St. Augustine lawn. You will be able to see the small, black insects with irregular white diamonds on their wings if you part the grass with your fingers. Apply labeled insecticide. They can quickly kill affected areas.
• Gray leaf spot causing yellowed “washes” across St. Augustine turf. Sun or shade. Exacerbated by applications of nitrogen in hot weather, so avoid nitrogen and apply labeled fungicide.
• Lacebugs attack leaf blades of American elm, sycamore, bur oak, azalea, pyracantha, boxwood, Boston ivy and other plants, leaving them mottled tan. You will see black peppery specks (excrement) on backs of leaves. Apply general-purpose insecticide to stop further damage.