Gardening This Weekend: May 12, 2022
Get out early before the heat sets in. Here are the weekend’s most critical tasks.
• Turfgrass from seed (bermuda) or sod or plugs (all types). Water twice daily for a few minutes for the first couple of weeks to help the new grass get established.
• Summer color, including vincas (Cora XDRs, meaning “extra disease-resistant”) are best), copper plants, moss rose and hybrid purslane, fanflowers, angelonias, pentas and purple fountaingrass, among others.
• Summer and fall perennials, including coneflowers, cannas, mallows, daylilies and others. Also fall-blooming perennials such as fall asters and Mexican bush sage. Buy them when you see them. Supplies often disappear quickly.
• Pinch growing tips out of Mexican bush sage, copper plants, fall asters and new shoots on blackberries to keep plants shorter and more compact.
• Winter-killed branches from oaks, crape myrtles, figs and other tender plants.
• Low-hanging branches from shade trees if they are hazardous or if they’re keeping sunlight from reaching your lawn. Wait two months to prune oaks to lessen chance of spreading oak wilt. However, as just mentioned, if you have dead branches, it’s fine to remove them now.
• All spring-flowering shrubs and vines to remove erratic shoots and to reshape the plants for the rest of the growing season.
• Turf, trees and shrubs with all-nitrogen fertilizer with up to half of that nitrogen in slow-release, coated or encapsulated form. Independent nurseries have these and can explain them to you.
• Flower and vegetable gardens every 3 weeks with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food to keep plants growing vigorously.
• Container plants with water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer with every watering. Potted plants dry out quickly and must be watered frequently.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• WATER NEWLY PLANTED TREES AND SHRUBS BY HAND. Sprinkler irrigation alone will not be sufficient. Drip irrigation probably won’t be, either. Use a water wand with either a water breaker or bubbler to allow you to run the water at high volume without washing the soil. Water deeply every 2-3 days through summer and into October. WATER DEEPLY EVERY 2-3 DAYS THROUGH SUMMER AND INTO OCTOBER.
• Bagworms on junipers, arborvitae and other conifers. Look for the very young and small larvae pulling their bags around on the twigs as they feed. They have just begun. As long as they are feeding you can control them with Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) biological worm spray. Once they strip needles from a portion of the conifer it is likely that that part of the plant may die. Watch your plants very closely.
• Insect galls on trees. Whether they’re tan, tennis-ball-sized galls on red oaks, warty pecan phylloxera galls on pecan leaves or nipple galls on hackberry leaves (or any of many other leaf and twig galls), they do little or no harm and there’s no way to control them. Just move on with life.
• Nutsedge. You may know it as “nutgrass,” but it’s not a true grass. Its stems are triangular like all of the sedges. All grass stems are round. Treat with Sedgehammer or the original Image product according to label directions.