Gardening This Weekend: June 9, 2022
I’ve put together a list of the things I’m going to try to get done now, before it turns really hot for the next 10 or 12 weeks. I hope it’s useful for you as well.
• New turfgrass. It’s so much easier to get it started now than it will be once it turns even hotter.
• Tropicals, including caladiums, bougainvilleas, crotons, mandevillas, plumbagos, hibiscus, bananas and others. Buy plants that have been in the same lighting conditions in the nursery that you’ll be able to provide for them when you get them home.
• Summer annuals that can handle the heat, including copper plants, firebush, purple fountaingrass, ‘Gold Star’ Esperanza (a Texas SuperStar®), fanflower, lantanas, purslane, moss rose, angelonias, pentas and Profusion zinnias.
• Crape myrtles as nurseries get in their prime supplies. Study the varieties and choose a type that grows to the size you have available for it. You don’t want to have to prune it later to keep it in bounds.
• Pinch growing tips out of coleus, copper plants, Mexican bush salvias, mums and fall asters to keep plants shorter and to remove flowers that tend to cause new growth to stall out.
• Blackberries to remove canes as soon as they finish bearing fruit completely to the ground. (They will never bear fruit again.)
• Erratic new growth on shrubs and groundcovers to maintain attractive, compact growth. Avoid formal shearing whenever possible. It’s too much work and it eventually wears the plants down.
• Patio pots, hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food weekly. Supplement the liquid fertilizer with an encapsulated, timed-release product applied every 90 days.
• Finish fertilizing St. Augustine for this season by mid-June. If you apply nitrogen to susceptible St. Augustine in hot weather you will encourage development of gray leaf spot fungus. Next feeding should be withheld until early September.
• Iron and sulfur soil acidifier to correct chlorosis (yellowed leaves with dark green veins that show first on leaves at tip ends of branches).
ON THE LOOKOUT
• It’s time for that second application of pre-emergent granules (Dimension, Balan or Weed-EX with Halts) to prevent germination of crabgrass and grassburs. First application should have been in late February in South Texas or early March in North Texas. If you did not make that application, there is no point in making this one.
• Early blight causes lower leaves of tomatoes to turn bright yellow in rather large blotches. The leaves quickly turn brown and die, making it essential that you apply a labeled fungicide at first signs of infection.
• I’m seeing a good bit of spider mite activity already this year. Lower leaves on these plants turn pale tan in small speckles. You can usually see the almost-microscopic mites if you thump an affected leaf onto a sheet of white paper. The mites will start moving around on the paper within 15-20 seconds but remember that they’re very tiny. Control with an insecticide labeled for mites.
• Bagworms on cone-bearing plants such as cedars, junipers, cypresses and arborvitae. Most general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticides will eliminate them. Spray both top and bottom leaf surfaces.
• Protect yourself and your family from chiggers and mosquitoes with DEET insect repellent.