Gardening This Weekend: May 28, 2020

Here are the most important of the pending gardening responsibilities for late spring, going into the summer.

New turf now from sod, seed or plugs.
Hot-weather annuals such as lantanas, angelonias, pentas, purple fountaingrass, moss rose, periwinkles, coleus, gomphrenas, Dahlberg daisies, fanflowers, copper plants, firebush and others. Let your nursery professional guide you.
New trees and shrubs. Watch for significant markdowns as nurseries reduce inventories before summer. Cover the plants with scraps of nursery shade fabric or old sheets to protect from highway winds. Plant immediately and water by hand every 2-3 days all summer and into the fall.

Continued Below

Errant spring growth from shrubs, vines.
Spent flower stalks on spring perennials as they finish blooming.
Fruiting canes from blackberries by cutting them completely to the ground after you finish harvesting all fruit. They will never bear fruit again. Tip-prune this year’s new canes to encourage side shoots to keep plants more compact.
Pinch out growing tips of coleus, copper plants, Mexican bush salvias, mums, fall asters and other annuals and perennials to keep them compact.

All-nitrogen, slow-release lawn food to turf if it’s been 8 weeks since first feeding. Your goal with St. Augustine lawns should be to feed now and not again until early September to lessen chance of gray leaf spot outbreak.
Patio pots and hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen plant food every 7 to 10 days to keep them growing vigorously. Supplement with timed-release fertilizer for sustained feeding.
Treat iron deficiency (yellowed leaves with dark green veins – appearing on the newest growth first) with an iron/sulfur additive.

It soon will be time for second application of pre-emergent weedkiller granules (Dimension, Balan or Weed-EX with Halts) to prevent germination of crabgrass and grassburs in turf. Apply early June, but start looking now as supplies will not be as plentiful as earlier. Note: If you did not make first application in late February or early March, this application will be useless.
Chiggers are active in bermuda and other grasses and weeds. Rather than trying to spray everywhere, it’s usually easier just to apply DEET repellent to your feet, ankles and legs, also to your socks and pants.
Pecan phylloxera gall is causing lots of leaf drop with knotty galls on the blades. It is of minimal harm to the trees and there is nothing that can done to lessen the problem now.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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