Gardening This Weekend: June 16, 2022

Here we go into the tough time of the summer. Here are your prime responsibilities for the upcoming days.

Crape myrtles. It looks like a great year for them so far. Check your local nursery. Buy (1) a variety whose mature size fits the space you have available for it and (2) your favorite color. Transport it home either wrapped or in an enclosed vehicle or trailer.
Heat-tolerant annual color from flowers and foliage, including trailing lantanas, pentas, purslane, moss rose, Dahlberg daisies, angelonias, fanflowers, spider flowers, mandevilla, Gold Star® Esperanza, purpleheart, purple fountaingrass, coleus, caladiums, firebush, copper plants and many others.
New turf from sod or seed. It is going to be increasingly challenging to plant bermuda from seed. The tiny seed dries out very quickly in the high temperatures. Plan on watering new plantings twice daily for 5 minutes each for the first 10-14 days.

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Branches that were broken by ice and windstorms. Make all cuts flush with remaining branches or trunks. Leave no stubs.
Spent flower and seed heads, dying foliage from perennials as they finish their bloom season.
Mow lawn frequently to remove unsightly grass seedheads. Bermuda heads bother some people and this is the season that they form. The heads may also become loaded with harmless black smut fungus. Mowing eliminates that.

Patio pots and hanging baskets with a high-nitrogen, water-soluble fertilizer each time that you water them. It’s best if it has a trace element nutrient combination in it as well.
Iron supplement to plants showing symptoms of iron chlorosis: yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on the newest growth first. Include sulfur in any soil applications to help lower the pH of the soil. The plants don’t necessarily need the additional sulfur as much as they need what it does to keep the iron soluble. (Iron becomes insoluble in alkaline soils.) Keep all iron products off masonry and painted surfaces that could be stained.

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St. Augustine having issues? It could be take all root rot left over from spring, gray leaf spot from summer or something else. See story this issue to figure out what’s going on.
Last call to apply second round of pre-emergent herbicide granules to prevent germination of crabgrass and grassburs. This is the booster shot to extend the season beyond the 90 days you got from the early March application of Dimension, Weed-EX with Halts or Balan granules.
Plants look like they’re “burning up?” I’m getting more and more questions from people with that description. It’s probably spider mites. Thump one of the dying branches/leaves over white paper. If dust-sized specks start to move, those are the mites. Treat with an insecticide that is labeled for control of spider mites.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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