Gardening This Weekend: September 2, 2021

As we head into September, we still have lingering responsibilities from late summer as well as the first tasks of the fall. Take a look.

Fall-flowering perennials as they are sold in nurseries, including Mexican bush sage, Mexican mint marigold, mums and Gregg’s mistflower.
Wildflower seeds, including acid-scarified bluebonnets for best germination. Plant into dedicated wildflower spaces where you do not have turfgrass. They do not compete well. Do not plant where you have applied pre-emergent herbicide.
Sod for warm-season turf, but do so as soon as possible to help it get established before cold weather arrives. Very last call for seeding bermuda, especially in the northern half of the state.
Fall-flowering bulbs if you still find them in nurseries. List includes spider lilies, fall crocus, oxblood lilies and naked lady lilies. Supplies may be limited by now.

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Dead branches from trees and shrubs. If you have dead branches high up in oaks and other large shade trees, contract to have them removed before winter. They will eventually become very brittle and could break with winter winds, ice, snow or rain.
Keep mowing lawn at same height. Increasing mowing height does not make grass more winter-hardy, nor does it conserve water. Tall grass becomes weak grass. Keep it low and spreading.
Tall weeds around your property. Ragweed is quite tall in much of the state right now and soon will be in full bloom. (See related story this issue.)
Leave milkweed in place for migrating Monarch butterflies. It is their main food source.

If it’s been 8 or more weeks since you last fed bermuda, zoysia or St. Augustine you can apply a high-quality, all-nitrogen fertilizer to your lawn now. That product should contain upwards of half of its nitrogen in slow-release form. Water deeply after the application. If you are applying pre-emergent weedkiller, do that first. Wait 2-3 days, then apply the fertilizer.
Water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer for hanging baskets, patio pots. By October you will want to withhold fertilizer from plants that will be coming indoors for the winter.

Last call for application of pre-emergent weedkillers Dimension, Weed-EX with Halts or Balan to stop germination of annual bluegrass (Poa annua), rescuegrass and ryegrass, also Gallery to prevent germination of winter broadleafed weeds such as clover, dandelions, henbit and chickweed. See related story this issue.
Pecans that are falling prematurely are infected with pecan scab. There is nothing you can do for it at this time. Spraying must be begun in late spring.
Begin to watch patio pots and hanging baskets for insect pests if you intend to bring them indoors for the winter. It’s much easier to address them while they’re outside.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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