Gardening This Weekend: July 16, 2020
Here are your most critical gardening responsibilities for the next several days.
• Pepper transplants in North Texas. Tomato transplants and pumpkin and winter squash seeds in South Texas.
• Warm-season turfgrasses. Water in the morning and evening for the first two weeks to get the grass established and growing.
• Crape myrtles while they are still in bloom in local garden centers. That way you can match your color preferences. Check the label for mature sizes of plants. Ask questions before you make any mistakes. You’ll find complete information at the website of The Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney.
• Spring and early-summer perennials to remove dried flower stalks and seedheads.
• Trees and shrubs to remove dead branches and erratic growth.
• Pinch out growing tips of coleus, copper plants, mums, impatiens, begonias, Mexican bush sage and blackberries (new 2020 shoots) to keep plants compact.
• Mow turf at recommended height. Cutting lawn higher does not help it survive hot, dry weather any better. It weakens the grass and allows weeds to get started.
• Bermuda turf if it’s been 8 weeks or longer. Apply an all-nitrogen lawn food with upwards of half of its nitrogen in slow-release form. Wait to feed St. Augustine until early September to lessen chance of gray leaf spot developing.
• Use same food on trees, shrubs, groundcovers and annual and perennial flowerbeds. Water thoroughly after feeding.
• Apply high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to patio pots and hanging baskets every couple of times that you water them. Nutrients are not retained very long in their porous potting soils.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Chinch bugs return to the same hottest, sunniest spots each year to attack St. Augustine, causing grass to be dry even after irrigation. Look for small, black insects with white diamond-shaped patches on their backs at perimeter of dying area. Use labeled turf insecticide.
• Leafrollers tying leaves of vinca groundcover, cannas, pyracanthas and others together. Apply systemic insecticide.
• Scale insects on euonymus, hollies, camellias, other plants. Use same systemic insecticide.
• Lace bugs turn leaves of azaleas, Boston ivy, pyracanthas, Texas sage, bur oaks, chinquapin oaks and cotoneasters tan. You’ll see black, waxy dots on the backs of the leaves. Use systemic insecticide.
• Gray leaf spot (oval to diamond-shaped gray lesions on blades, runners) causes St. Augustine blades to wither. Lawn takes on overall yellowed appearance. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers until September. Turf fungicide Azoxystrobin will help.
• Nutsedge (nutgrass) in turf can be controlled with specialty herbicides Image (“original” formulation) or Sedgehammer). Follow label directions regarding timing and applications.