Gardening This Weekend: August 22, 2019
I’ve done this the past couple of years. I’ve changed the order of this part of e-gardens to draw attention to this crucial timing. Gretchen is even going to put the critical parts in red font as well. You just gotta read this!
ON THE LOOKOUT
• APPLY FALL PRE-EMERGENT GRANULES NOW! This is to prevent germination of annual bluegrass, rescuegrass (was really bad last winter and spring) and ryegrass. You get one chance to avoid these weeds, and that chance comes with the application of pre-emergent weedkiller granules Dimension, Halts or Balan between now and September 5. Start shopping for them now. They may be labeled as “crabgrass preventers.” That’s how we use them in springtime and that’s fine. Apply them now for the cool-season grasses. Once they germinate you have no second chance. You’ll have to look at them. And apply Gallery to prevent germination of cool-season broadleafed weeds such as henbit, dandelions, clover and chickweed.
• Chinch bugs turning hot, sunny areas of St. Augustine dried and dead. Small, black insects will be seen moving rapidly on the soil surface at the interface of the dead and healthy grass. Apply labeled insecticide.
• Gray leaf spot turning irregular washes of shady and sunny portions of St. Augustine yellowed. You’ll see irregular gray diamond-shaped lesions on blades and runners. Avoid nitrogen fertilizer between June 15 and early September. This fungus has been prevalent this summer. Labeled turf fungicide will also help.
• Wildflower seeds into gently prepared soil. Full sun. Plant where they can be allowed to go to seed and where seed can mature and dry next spring and early summer. Wildflowers should not be planted into highly amended garden soils, nor should they be planted where grasses will compete. And, of course, no pre-emergent application where you’re going to plant them.
• Fall-flowering bulbs, including spider lilies, oxblood lilies, fall crocus, naked lady lilies and others.
• Sod St. Augustine or seed bermuda quickly to get them established before soil begins to cool. Again, do not apply pre-emergent weedkiller if you intend to plant new grass. (Some things you just have to say to be sure people remember.)
• Dead or damaged branches from trees, shrubs. If you’re scheduling a certified arborist to work on your trees, better do so now before any more time passes if you want them to see your trees before they start losing leaves (especially critical with pecans).
• Erratic shoots from shrubs, groundcover beds.
• Pinch flower stalks from coleus, basil plants to keep them growing vegetatively.
• Flowerbeds with water-soluble, high-nitrogen plant food to stimulate a rush of fall growth and bloom.
• Patio pots, hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food every two or three times that you water them to replenish nutrients lost due to leaching.
• Bermuda lawns if it’s been more than 8 or 9 weeks since last you did. Use an all-nitrogen, high-quality fertilizer with up to half of its nitrogen in slow-release form. If you’re applying pre-emergent granules as well, mow first, fertilize, water deeply, wait one day, then apply the pre-emergent granules and water lightly.
• Wait another couple of weeks to fertilize St. Augustine to lessen chance of gray leaf spot outbreak.