Gardening This Weekend: August 12, 2021
Run your eyes down my list to see if any of these things applies to the plants in your landscape and gardens. Some may be very important.
• South Texas gardeners, finish planting beans, squash, cucumbers.
• Central and North Texans, set out transplants of Cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts).
• Fall color zinnias, marigolds and celosias. Buy potted transplants that are in bud but not yet in bloom whenever possible.
• Dig and divide crowded daffodils, jonquils and narcissus before new root growth begins.
• Spider lilies and other fall-flowering bulbs as you find them available in nurseries.
• Any remaining freeze damage from shrubs. If you have shade trees that have few or no leaves you should have a certified arborist examine them and probably remove them before they fall and cause damage or injury.
• Flowers from coleus, basil, mint, caladiums and other plants where flower buds and flowers stop production of new foliage.
• Rose bushes by one-third to reshape the plants and increase vigor for fall bloom. Each cut should be made just above a bud that faces out from the center of the plant. Note that in the DFW area you should also be checking to be sure your roses don’t have the fatal rose rosette virus. Infected plants must be removed immediately. I have much more information on my website.
• Bermuda turf with all-nitrogen lawn food in which as much as half or more of the nitrogen is in slow-release form. Do not fertilize St. Augustine for another 3-4 weeks to avoid late-season outbreak of gray leaf spot (fungus that is exacerbated by applications of nitrogen).
• Iron/sulfur additive to correct chlorosis in iron-deficient plants. Look for yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on newest growth first. Function of the sulfur is to acidify the soil so that the iron will remain soluble for as long as possible.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Spider mites are turning leaves of marigolds and many other plants tan right now. You’ll also see very fine webbing forming on the leaves.
• Lace bugs also cause tan spots, but lace bugs do not form webs and they leave waxy black specks (excrement) on the backs of the leaves.
• Time for application of pre-emergent granules to prevent winter weeds is approaching rapidly. Apply Dimension, Halts or Balan granules between August 25 and Labor Day to stop germination of seeds of annual bluegrass (Poa annua), rescue grass and ryegrass. Once they sprout you will have no second chance. Start searching for the products now. More details next week.
• If you have nutsedge (nutgrass) in your lawn, this is your last call to apply Image (the original formulation that is labeled for control of nutsedge) or Sedgehammer to eliminate it. Both products need several weeks of warm weather to complete their work. (See related story last issue.)