Gardening This Weekend: July 23, 2020
Here are the 12 or 14 jobs that most need your attention over the next three days. Take quick glance.
• Fall vegetables, including beans, corn, squash, cucumbers, peppers and Irish potatoes in the next 7-10 days.
• Order spring Texas wildflower seeds for planting in 4-6 weeks. Watch for details at that time.
• Fall bulbs such as spider lilies, oxblood (schoolhouse) lilies, surprise lilies, autumn crocus (Sternbergia). Buy bulbs now to plant immediately. You may find them locally, but online ordering may be necessary.
• Turf from sod or plugs, including St. Augustine, zoysia and bermuda. You can seed bermuda now if you’re really careful, but you’re going to have to water it for 5 minutes morning and evening for the first 10-14 days to get it going.
• Even up purple wintercreeper and Asian jasmine beds that have become uneven. Trim trailing vinca groundcover beds that have been infested with leafrollers, then apply a high-nitrogen, lawn-type fertilizer to stimulate regrowth and water deeply.
• It is finally fine to prune oak trees as needed to repair damage and remove dead branches. Oak wilt mats are inactive from mid-summer through fall and into late winter, so mid-July through Valentine’s Day are the prime times for pruning oaks. Seal all cuts with pruning paint at any time of the year.
• Deadhead perennial and annual beds to remove seed stalks and dead foliage.
• Apply iron product to correct chlorosis (yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on newest growth). Hopefully product will also contain iron to help keep the iron in a soluble form long enough for it to be taken into the plants’ roots.
• Patio pots and hanging baskets with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food with each watering. Nutrients are used by the plants rapidly, plus they leach out of the porous potting soils.
• New flower and vegetable transplants with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to help them establish most rapidly. Repeat weekly.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• New plantings of trees and shrubs from this spring must be watered by hand using a hose and water breaker or bubbler. Sprinkler irrigation alone will not be sufficient. See related story on proper use of water in the landscape, this issue.
• Lacebugs suck the color out of leaves of loropetalums (fringeflowers), azaleas, Boston ivy, pyracanthas, cotoneasters, bur oaks, chinquapin oaks, sycamores and many other types of plants. Most insecticides will control them, but the green won’t return to the old leaves. New growth should be normal.
• Chinch bug populations have started to build in Texas St. Augustine lawns. See related story in last week’s e-gardens.
• Have armadillos? I have a humane way of dealing with them that has worked in our rural landscape. I leave it in the FAQ pages of my website.