Gardening This Weekend: September 30, 2021
I’ve made a list of the things that are most critical to your gardening success. Let’s take a look.
• Trees and shrubs. By planting them now you’ll give them maximum time to establish before next summer’s hot weather arrives. Nurseries have fairly good supplies of the plants you’ll want to replace those lost to last winter’s cold.
• Daffodils and grape hyacinths as soon as you buy them. Ask questions about how well the types that you’re choosing will “come back” year after year. Tulips and Dutch hyacinths must go in the refrigerator for 45 days (or longer) at 45 degrees.
• Dig and divide spring-blooming perennials such as violets, oxalis, candytuft, iris, daylilies, coneflowers, gloriosa daisies, thrift and others.
• Pansies, violas, pinks, snapdragons, ornamental cabbage and kale for late fall, winter and early spring color. Choose pansies that are full and compact. Plants that have been exposed to high temperatures may have grown lanky.
• Dig and remove roses infested with rose rosette virus. Their foliage will be abnormal. Stems will often be exceedingly thorny. Buds won’t open properly. See information I’ve left archived on my website.
• Keep perennial beds tidy by removing old flower and stem stalks.
• Mow at recommended height. Do not let grass grow tall in the mistaken idea that it will be more winter-hardy. Tall grass quickly becomes weak grass.
• Fescue turf if that is your permanent lawngrass, with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer so it can take advantage of cooler growing conditions.
• Newly planted winter color annuals with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food. Repeat weekly until frost.
• Last feeding of patio plants before bringing them indoors for winter. You won’t want to encourage new growth in lower light intensities indoors.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Brown patch in St. Augustine as soon as we get cooler, wet weather. It can begin to show up at any time now.
• Turf areas where you intend to develop new garden or landscape beds next spring can be sprayed with a glyphosate herbicide now. It won’t contaminate the soil, but it must have warm conditions to kill out the unwanted vegetation. You’ll be able to rototill within a couple of weeks so that you can start working up the soils well in advance of late-winter plantings.
• Fall webworms in pecans, other shade trees. It’s easier to prune the webs out with a long-handled pole pruner than it would be to spray them. Most webworms that I have observed have finished their feeding. Left in the trees for now, the webs will fall to the ground as the leaves come down over the next 6-8 weeks.
• Watch for stinging caterpillars as you’re working around shrubs and perennials this fall. Also yellowjacket nests that have become large and active with fall’s cooler weather. Even snakes in piles of fallen leaves.
• With that, have a nice day!