Gardening This Weekend: June 25, 2020

Folks tell me this is the part of e-gardens they open up first. It’s the way they keep current with critical responsibilities. Here’s what I have for you for this weekend.

Fall tomatoes. This is the prime weekend to plant them. Stick with small and mid-sized varieties. Call your favorite nursery or feed store to be sure they have them in stock. Plant within the next 10 days. If you’re in South Texas you get an extra week beyond that.
Crape myrtles while in full bloom. Check mature sizes on labels to be sure they match the space you have available for the new plant.
New lawngrass from sod, seed or plugs. Water morning and evening for 5 minutes each for first two weeks, then gradually water less often but more at each time to encourage deeper rooting.

Crape myrtles as needed to remove any branches or trunks killed by last winter’s cold, but no need to remove seedheads. Plants will rebloom just as quickly if you leave them in place.
Crazy, elongated shoots from Lady Banksia roses, abelias, elaeagnus and other shrubs to restore natural growth form.
Perennials to remove spent flower stalks and seedheads.

Bermuda turf with all-nitrogen fertilizer with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form.
Liquid iron and sulfur soil acidifier for quickest green-up of iron-deficient plants. This is impractical, however, for large trees and shrubs.
Container plants and hanging baskets regularly. Due to their limited soil reservoirs and porous potting soils, these plants run out of nutrients quickly.

Continued Below

Lacebugs are common on Texas landscape plants currently. They turn leaves mottled tan, and black specks will be visible on the backs of the leaves. Most general-purpose insecticides will stop them, although the leaves will not green up again.
Leafrollers are beginning to show up on trailing periwinkle groundcover beds, also on redbuds, sweetgums, cannas and other plants. Apply Imidacloprid systemic insecticide immediately. A soil drench is preferable if you have time. It will need 2-3 weeks to take effect.
Gray leaf spot appears in washes of yellowed St. Augustine, both in sun and shade. On closer inspection you’ll see diamond-shaped lesions on the grass blades. Do not apply nitrogen until September. (It exacerbates the problem.) Slow the fungus with a labeled turf fungicide such as Azoxystrobin.
Chinch bugs in St. Augustine. They will always be in hot, sunny parts of lawn. Grass will appear dry but will not respond to irrigation. You should be able to see the small, black insects by parting the grass with your fingers. Apply labeled insecticide to entire lawn.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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