Gardening This Weekend: September 19, 2019
Here are things you’ll want to consider between the dog days of summer and the onset of real fall. Now!
• Ryegrass to overseed warm-season turf and to hold soil and give temporary cover to bare ground in the winter. It will die out by late spring.
• In the Panhandle or wherever fescue has been used as a lawngrass, overseed it with additional fescue to keep the lawn dense. Do not, however, overseed warm-season grasses St. Augustine, bermuda or zoysia with fescue since it’s a permanent turfgrass.
• Fall color from mums, Joseph’s coat, Mexican bush salvia, Mexican mint marigolds, petunias and other fall color plants.
• Nursery trees, shrubs and vines now to get them established before next summer. Watch for end-of-season closeouts in nurseries. Buy from independent retail garden centers where you can talk to local experts who know local conditions.
• Last call to sow wildflower seeds for spring bloom. If you’re planting bluebonnets, buy acid-treated (“scarified”) seeds for best germination. Sow into lightly prepared soil where there is no competition from turf.
• Dead and damaged branches from trees while you can easily see them. Large branches higher than your head should be removed by certified arborists who are properly trained and who have the right equipment.
• Keep mowing lawn at recommended height. Letting it grow tall weakens it and allows weeds to get started.
• Houseplants that you have on patio or beneath trees for the summer one last time before you bring them inside in a few weeks.
• Lawn with all-nitrogen fertilizer (up to half of that nitrogen in slow-release form) unless soil test instructs otherwise. Product may be labeled as “winterizer,” but it could very likely be the same analysis as your spring and summer food.
• Summer annual flowers (begonias, impatiens, fanflowers, pentas, lantanas, periwinkles and angelonias, among others, and foliage with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food to stimulate one last round of fall growth and blooms.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Don’t be overly concerned about a few leaf spots or early leaf drop on shade trees this late in the season. You won’t make them go away with any type of spray, and odds are very high that the tree will leaf out perfectly come spring.
• Dead areas in turf may be due to grub worms if you can pull the grass up, runners and all. If it’s St. Augustine, it could also be old chinch bug damage. They may still be active.
• Webworms are prevalent in Texas pecans and other trees currently. Spraying is impractical. Do not try to burn them (extremely hazardous). Long-handled pole pruners are probably your best solution, or just ignore them. They will fall to the ground over the winter. The trees will be fine.