Gardening This Weekend: June 11, 2020
Here’s your list of top tasks for the next three days.
• Tropical color plants for brightest summer color. Let your nurseryman show you the many options.
• Hot-weather annuals, including fanflowers, pentas, angelonias, lantanas, moss rose, purslane, copper plants, purple fountaingrass, sun-tolerant coleus, wax begonias (shade only) and others. Buy transplants that have been growing in the same lighting you will be able to provide for them.
• Turfgrass from sod, seed or plugs. Water lightly once or twice daily for the first week to get roots established.
• Crape myrtles while in full bloom to ensure you get the colors you want. Check each variety’s mature size so you won’t have to top them to keep them in bounds. (Topping or flat-siding are never acceptable.)
• Remove blackberry canes that just bore fruit. Cut completely to ground. They will never bear fruit again.
• Branches that are blocking sun from reaching turfgrass below. Don’t destroy the natural forms of the trees in the process, however.
• Pinch growing tips out of Mexican bush salvia, coleus, copper plants, fall asters and mums to force them to produce side shoots. That will keep the plants much more compact.
• Iron-deficient plants that are showing yellowed leaves with dark green veins most prominently on their newest growth with a combination of iron and sulfur soil-acidifier. This will help smaller shrubs, vines and other plants with limited root systems, but it will not correct iron deficiency on trees and large shrubs. Unfortunately, there is no practical long-term way to correct that issue in highly alkaline soils.
• Container plants with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food each time that you water. Results will be rapid and very noticeable.
• Turfgrass with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen food with half or more of the nitrogen in encapsulated or coated, slow-release form.
• New lawns with same type of lawn food, but at half the recommended rate. Wait one month and fertilize again at the recommended rate.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Second application of Dimension, Balan or Weed-EX with Halts pre-emergent weedkiller to prevent germination of grassbur and crabgrass seeds for remainder of season. If you did not make first application in March, this one will be of no value. You do not have to use the same product this time that you used the first time. While you are buying this round, you might as well stock up for your third treatment – the one you’ll make between August 25 and September 7 for winter grassy weeds. The pre-emergent products are quite difficult to find at that time.
• Fleas are rampant. This information from Texas A&M Extension entomologist Dr. Mike Merchant is extremely thorough. Home remedies do not work! https://citybugs.tamu.edu/factsheets/biting-stinging/others/ent-3001/
• Spider mites attacking marigolds, tomatoes and many other plants. Look for tan mottling. Thump a suspect leaf over white paper. If you see nearly microscopic specks starting to move around freely, those are the mites. Look for an insecticide that also lists mite control on its label.