Gardening This Weekend: July 18, 2019
If you can give me 30 or 45 minutes a day that you would spend in your landscape and garden (not counting mowing, trimming and blowing), here are the things I’d consider most critical to get done.
• Heat-tolerant annuals, probably into patio pots filled with the highest-quality potting soil you can find.
• Peppers for your fall garden. Like tomatoes, they do better in a fall garden than they do in the spring. Finding transplants will be the issue, but better nurseries will have them.
• Crape myrtles while they still have their best supplies. Many are putting them on sale, and selections will start to run low. Protect from highway wind on the way home.
• New bermuda, zoysia or St. Augustine within the next six weeks. Sooner is better than later. Water twice daily for 5-10 minutes for first 7-14 days.
• If you find your bermuda is browned for several days after each mowing, and if you’re mowing quite short, raise the mower one notch. You’re cutting into stem stubble. Remember to drop it back down in February as you scalp the grass. Otherwise, mow turf at recommended height. Letting grass grow tall does not offer protection from heat, drought. In fact, tall grass becomes weak grass, more subject to invasion by weeds.
• Errant new shoots on shrubs. There’s no point in letting them hog water the main parts of the plants will need.
• Dead or damaged branches from trees before they can cause decay to move into the trunks of the trees.
• Container plants including hanging baskets with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to keep them growing vigorously. Nutrients leach out of pots as often as you’re watering.
• Do not fertilize St. Augustine at these temperatures due to likelihood of promoting gray leaf spot development.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Chinch bugs are really becoming prevalent. See story in last week’s e-gardens for details on identifying and treating them.
• Gray leaf spot attacking St. Augustine. Look for BB-sized, diamond-shaped lesions on the blades of yellowing St. Augustine. It is exacerbated by high-nitrogen fertilizer, hence recommendation not to feed until fall. Apply labeled fungicide as needed.
• Leafrollers tie leaves together and turn plants brown. Vinca trailing groundcover was hit unusually early. You’ll also see them tying leaves of cannas, sweetgums, pyracanthas, cotoneasters, redbuds and a host of other plants together as they live inside their protective homes. Systemic insecticides such as Imidacloprid applied prior to the start of the rolling offer the best hope of control.