Gardening This Weekend: May 19, 2022
With prospects of maybe a little friendlier weather on our horizon, here are this weekend’s top horticultural jobs for us Texans.
• Hot weather color including fanflowers, pentas, angelonias, purple fountaingrass, lantanas, copper plants, vincas, moss rose and hybrid purslane. For shade plant coleus, wax and Dragon Wing begonias and caladiums.
• Trees, shrubs, vines and groundcovers. Many types are in short supply, and prices have jumped. That makes it all the more important that you buy your plants carefully and that you care for them regularly. Water them by hand every couple of days for their first couple of summers in your landscape.
• New turf from seed (bermuda) or sod or plugs (all types). This is the very best time of the entire year to plant new lawns.
• Branches that were broken in the past two winters’ cold and ice so that no jagged stubs are left in place. Seal all fresh wounds on oaks with pruning paint to lessen chance of entry of oak wilt fungus.
• Winter-killed damage from crape myrtles, oleanders, figs and other plants that were impacted.
• Erratic new growth from shrubs to maintain natural growth forms. Avoid formal shearing whenever possible.
• Mow lawn at the recommended height. Raising the blade does not improve summer durability.
• Lawns with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form.
• Use same fertilizer to feed landscape plants, flowers and even vegetables. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your plants will respond.
• Apply iron with sulfur to correct iron deficiency in plants in alkaline soils. (The sulfur helps acidify the soil to keep the iron soluble for a period of time.) Symptoms: yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominently displayed on newest growth.
Note: keep all iron products away from painted and masonry surfaces that could be stained.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• If you missed information on prevention of crape myrtle bark scale, therefore honeydew residue, therefore black sooty mold on the leaves, twigs and trunks of your crape myrtles, see story two weeks ago.
• Use sunscreen to lessen your chances of visits to the plastic surgeon for cancer removals later. Trust me: I’m the voice of experience. I was out there before sunscreens were around.
• Protect yourself on picnics by applying DEET to keep chiggers and mosquitoes away. Apply to feet and legs, shoes, hands and arms for chiggers and to head and torso for mosquitoes.
• Insect galls are forming on leaves, twigs of many types of trees. They are harmless. They can’t be prevented or cured, so spend no time worrying about them.
• Second application of pre-emergent will come due in a week or two. I’ll remind you then, but start looking for it now. Many nurseries quit offering it after the spring rush, but they can order it in for you. Balan, Dimension or Halts granules applied in early June to prevent germination of grass burs, crabgrass. Second application is of no value if you didn’t make the first application in early March.