Gardening This Weekend: June 2, 2022
The first very warm days of summer mark the last chance to get some of your important gardening tasks finished. They also tell you that other jobs are upon you. Take a quick scan.
• Hot-weather annuals such as trailing lantana, pentas, angelonia, purslane, moss rose, fanflower, firebush and, from foliage: purple fountaingrass and copper plants among others.
• Tropicals to enhance pool and patio settings, including bananas, hibiscus, elephant ears (shade), crotons, bougainvillea and mandevilla among others.
• Nursery stock now, but plan on watering all 2022 plantings by hand every couple of days through this first gardening summer until the plants develop roots into adjacent soil. Soak them thoroughly using a water breaker or bubbler.
• New lawngrass from sod, seed or plugs. It’s much easier to get it established now than it will be in a few weeks.
• Pinch growing tips out of coleus and copper plants to encourage side branching.
• Branches that have been damaged by winter cold of 2021 and 2022.
• Low-hanging branches that are casting excessive shade onto lawn, causing grass to thin in the process. (Wait until mid-July to prune oaks to lessen chance of oak wilt invasion. All oak cuts must be treated with pruning sealant immediately after pruning.)
• Vigorous and erratic new growth on shrubs, groundcovers, but try to maintain natural growth forms. Avoid rounded and squared shearing whenever possible.
• Turfgrass with second feeding of high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer with 30 to 40 percent of that nitrogen in slow-release form. This is especially critical for St. Augustine. You do not want to apply nitrogen after mid-June in case gray leaf spot could be an issue.
• Hanging baskets and container plants with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food each time that you water.
• Iron and sulfur soil acidifier to correct chlorosis (yellowed leaves, dark green veins, most prominent on newest growth first).
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Early blight causing lower leaves of tomatoes to turn yellow, then quickly dried and brown. Apply labeled fungicide.
• Spider mites causing leaves of tomatoes, peppers, beans and other vegetables and flowers from turning tan, then brown from the lowest leaves first, then flushing upward on the plants. Thump suspect leaves over white paper and look for nearly microscopic specks to start moving. If you see them apply an insecticide labeled for spider mites to both top and bottom leaf surfaces. Repeat as needed. Check weekly.
• Webworms in pecans, other trees. Prune small webs out of canopy before they overtake branches. Spraying is not efficient and requires power equipment.
• Second application of pre-emergent to prevent germination of crabgrass, grassburs. Apply Balan, Dimension or Halts Weed-EX granules now followed by a good watering. It may be difficult to find these granules, but your local independent retail garden center can order them in for you. If you did not make first application in March this application will be useless.
• Chiggers and mosquitoes. It’s probably easier to treat yourself than to treat all of your world. Apply DEET insect repellent to keep them away. Spray all exposed flesh. For chiggers, spray feet, ankles and calves, then spray outside of shoes, clothes as well.