Gardening This Weekend: September 12, 2019
Mid-September plus still really warm equals what I’ve put into your list for this weekend. Better scroll through.
• Bermuda sod soon so it can get well rooted before it (finally) turns cool. I believe it’s too late to plant St. Augustine in the northern half or two-thirds of the state. We don’t know when the first freeze will come, and we don’t know how severe the winter will be. I just don’t think it’s worth the risk.
• Ryegrass for overseeding your lawn, also for temporary cover of bare ground. (It needs to be noted that a few cities do not allow overseeding in the contention that it wastes water. I disagree strongly, as I’ve put on record in the past, but if it’s the law I don’t want you to get in trouble. Check your city’s regulations first.)
• Dig and divide bearded iris. Space plants 15 to 18 inches apart. If you have rhizomes left over, give them to friends or discard them. Don’t overcrowd them. Rhizomes must be shallow, barely beneath the soil’s surface.
• Fall perennials as they are sold in stores, including mums, fall asters, Mexican bush salvias and Mexican mint marigolds.
• Bluebonnets and other spring wildflowers into suitable sunny locations. Buy acid-scarified bluebonnet seeds for most uniform germination. Do not plant where the wildflowers will have to compete with turf.
• Stubble from perennial plantings to keep landscape tidy. Do not remove green foliage, however. It is critical in the plants’ storing “food” for next year.
• Erratic or dead branches from trees and shrubs.
• Continue mowing at recommended height. Use mowing to keep early-falling leaves from accumulating on turf. Use clippings in compost.
• Turfgrass with high-quality, all-nitrogen fertilizer. Upwards of half of the nitrogen should be in slow-release form.
• High-nitrogen fertilizer to fall flower and vegetable plantings to keep them vigorous as growing conditions improve.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Fall webworms in pecans and other trees. They are running rampant in many parts of the state. Spraying is difficult and inefficient. Use a long-handled pole pruner, but only if there are no power lines anywhere nearby. Let the webs and worms fall to the ground, then bag them and send them to the landfill.
• Remove ragweed plants from rural sites. The plants are tall and in full bloom across much of the state currently. You’ll still have allergies from the wind-borne pollen, but you’ll be doing your part to remove them in your own local environment.
• If you have shrubs or trees that have lost their normal leaf color, turn the leaves over and look for small black specks. That would be excrement from lace bugs. They probably have finished their feeding for this season so there is no reason to treat now. Watch earlier next year. Affected plants include ceniza (Texas sage), pyracanthas, azaleas, boxwood, loropetalums, cotoneasters, bur oaks, chinquapin oaks, elms, sycamores, Boston ivy and many others. The plants will be fine come spring.