Gardening This Weekend: June 18, 2020

Take advantage of these long evenings and garden ‘til it’s dark. Here are just a few of the things you’ll want to accomplish.

Hot weather color. Ask your Texas Certified Nursery Professional (mostly at local independent retail garden centers) to show you the types that stand up to the heat.
Crape myrtles. They’re in full bloom in Texas nurseries right now. Buy the color and height that will give you the best look. Here is a list from our Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney website.
New turfgrass. It will become much more difficult with each increasing degree. And a quick warning: if you’ve tried grass beneath a tree and watched it fail, you probably have too much shade, and grass just won’t make it. Switch to a shade-loving groundcover instead.

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Perennials as they finish blooming to remove spent stalks and blossoms, also browning foliage.
Odd stem shoots from abelias, Lady Banksia roses, elaeagnus and other vigorous spring growers. Do so branch by branch, not with hedge trimmers.
Blackberries immediately. Your goal is to remove the canes that just bore fruit. They will never bear again and will make subsequent harvests incredibly difficult.

Turf, groundcovers, flowerbeds and almost all other plants with an all-nitrogen fertilizer that has upwards of half of its nutrients in slow-release form.
Container plants each time that you water them. Nutrients leach out of their root zones very quickly with watering. Use a high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food.
Iron and sulfur to correct iron deficiency. Look for yellow leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on the newest growth first. Keep iron products off walks and walls that could be stained.

Last call for second application of pre-emergent weedkillers Dimension, Balan or Disease-EX with Halts to prevent germination of crabgrass, grassburs. If you did not make first treatment in March, save the effort now. This one is only a “booster shot” intended to supplement the earlier treatment.
Chinch bugs in hottest, sunniest parts of St. Augustine lawns. Grass will appear to be very dry, but it will not respond to irrigation. Get on your hands and knees and inspect grass in the interface of dead and dying grass. Chinch bugs are BB-sized, black with irregular white diamonds on their backs. Nymphs are smaller and red. Both will be moving about freely. Treat with Imidacloprid as soon as you identify them. They can quickly kill large areas of turf.
Bagworms, webworms, lace bugs, spider mites and leafrollers have become prevalent across Texas. Inspect your plants carefully and treat whenever needed.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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