Gardening This Weekend: September 16, 2021
OK, team. Here are the most timely things to work on this weekend.
• Last call to sow wildflower seeds for spring bloom. If you’re planting bluebonnets, buy acid-treated (“scarified”) seeds for best germination. Sow into lightly prepared soil where there is no competition from turf.
• Fall color from mums, Joseph’s coat, Mexican bush salvia, Mexican mint marigolds, petunias and other fall color plants.
• In the Panhandle or wherever fescue has been used as a lawngrass, overseed it with additional fescue to keep the lawn dense. Do not, however, overseed warm-season grasses St. Augustine, bermuda or zoysia with fescue since it’s a permanent turfgrass.
• Ryegrass to overseed warm-season turf and to hold soil and give temporary cover to bare ground in the winter. It will die out by late spring. I am hearing that there may be supply chain issues with ryegrass seed and that it may be in short supply. If you’re going to be planting it, better buy soon.
• Nursery trees, shrubs and vines now to get them established before next summer. Supplies are beginning to fill back in again. Buy from independent retail garden centers where you can talk to local experts who know local conditions.
• Dead and damaged branches from trees while you can easily see them. Large branches higher than your head should be removed by certified arborists who are properly trained and who have the right equipment.
• Remove trees that were killed by last February’s cold. Most species could fall during winter wind and ice storms. This is work that is best left to professional, certified arborists, both for your own safety and to protect your property.
• Keep mowing lawn at recommended height. Letting it grow tall weakens it and allows weeds to get started.
• Lawn with all-nitrogen fertilizer (up to half of that nitrogen in slow-release form) unless soil test instructs otherwise. Product may be labeled as “winterizer,” but it could very likely be the same analysis as your spring and summer food.
• Summer annual flowers (begonias, impatiens, fanflowers, pentas, lantanas, periwinkles and angelonias, among others, and foliage with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food to stimulate one last round of fall growth and blooms.
• Houseplants that you have on patio or beneath trees for the summer one last time before you bring them inside in a few weeks.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Stinging caterpillars (puss caterpillars, otherwise known as asps, Io moth larvae and Hagg moth caterpillars, among others) will be on fallen foliage, also in live oaks and hollies as well as other plants. Just keep your eyes open and don’t handle any caterpillars.
• Webworms are prevalent in Texas pecans and other trees currently. Spraying is impractical. Do not try to burn them (extremely hazardous). Long-handled pole pruners are probably your best solution, or just ignore them. They will fall to the ground over the winter. The trees will be fine.
• Don’t be overly concerned about a few leaf spots or early leaf drop on shade trees this late in the season. You won’t make them go away with any type of spray, and odds are very high that the tree will leaf out perfectly come spring.