Gardening This Weekend: June 24, 2021

This time of year I try to condense my gotta-do list to only the most critical tasks. That’s what you’ll find here today.

Annuals for color the balance of summer and on through the fall. Best choices include copper plant, fire bush, purple fountaingrass, wax and Dragon Wing begonias, pentas, angelonias, sun-tolerant coleus, fanflowers, Cora periwinkles and moss rose. Buy plants that have been acclimated to full sun.
Tomatoes and pumpkins for your fall vegetable gardens. Stay with small and mid-sized varieties for best results. It may be hard to find tomato transplants. Just keep asking. (And don’t settle for leftover old plants from the springtime.)
Crape myrtles while nurseries still have the best selections of colors. Check their mature plant sizes to be sure they’ll fit the space you have available for them.

Shrubs to remove dead branches killed by the February freeze. I still see a lot of landscapes that need the tidy-up help of pruning shears.
Strongly growing shoots that extend beyond natural form of your shrubs. Avoid formal shearing – just remove the erratic twigs.
Keep mowing lawn at recommended height. Raising mower does not improve summer durability.
Spent flower stalks and seedheads from perennial gardens. However, do not prune crape myrtles to remove seedheads. It does not speed up second round of blooms.

Continued Below

Bermuda lawns if it’s been more than 8 weeks since you last did. (4-6 weeks for dwarf hybrid types.) However, do not apply nitrogen to St. Augustine in hot weather to minimize outbreaks of gray leaf spot.
Annual beds with high-nitrogen fertilizer to keep plants growing vigorously and performing to their maximum potential.
Container gardens with water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer weekly. Nutrients are leached out of soil with repeated waterings.

Leafrollers tying leaves of redbuds, sweetgums, vinca groundcover, pyracanthas, cotoneasters and other landscape plants together. Systemic insecticide Imidacloprid gives best prevention, but it requires 2-3 weeks of lead time.
Lacebugs turning leaves of pyracanthas, azaleas, boxwoods, Boston ivy and other shrubs and even trees tan. Look for black, waxy specks on backs of affected leaves. Contact insecticides work well, but you can also apply systemic insecticides for long-term prevention and control.
Spot-treat (glyphosate-only herbicide) or hand-dig clumps of dallisgrass out of turf. There are no consumer products to eliminate it in established lawns at consumer level. Make application of weedkiller spray directly to clumps. Avoid over-spray onto adjacent grass.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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