Gardening This Weekend: August 18, 2022
Here, friend, are this weekend’s most timely – the critical – gardening responsibilities. Scan through to see which apply to your landscape and garden.
• Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower transplants in order to have fresh harvests as late fall unwinds.
• Zinnias, marigolds, celosias and other fall-color annuals. Set out vigorous potted transplants immediately, preferably in bud but not yet in bloom. If you’re too worn out from the heat, plant them into patio pots and enjoy container color in prime spots near entries and on the patio.
• New turfgrass as soon as possible to give it several weeks to establish good roots before cool weather returns. This depends on your local water restrictions. Check beforehand. You may need to delay plantings until spring.
• Pinch growing tips from overgrown coleus, begonias, copper plants, trailing lantanas, other summer annuals to keep them compact through fall season.
• Dead or damaged branches from trees and shrubs. Restore their natural form in the process, even if it means removing a few healthy branches along with the dead wood.
• Patio pots and hanging baskets, also annual beds and fall vegetable plantings with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to promote vigorous growth up until frost.
• Iron-deficient plants (yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on newest growth) with iron/sulfur product. Keep iron off masonry, painted surfaces that could be stained.
• Wait to feed lawns until weather breaks in early September. Our lawns are still struggling from heat and drought. Our main goal now is just to pull the grass through.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Nutsedge (nutgrass) in lawns, beds. This is absolutely your last chance to apply Image or Sedgehammer to kill it. A second application of Image will be needed 30 days later, and that’s what establishes this deadline. Be sure you buy the Image product blended specifically for control of nutsedge.
• Lace bugs are causing tan mottling of leaves of many types of vines, shrubs and even trees. List includes Boston ivy, azaleas, pyracanthas, loropetalums, boxwoods, sycamores, bur oaks and Chinquapin oaks. Look for black specks on the backs of the leaves. Their damage has been done for this year, but next year apply a systemic insecticide earlier to prevent the damage.
• Leafrollers have matted the leaves of trailing periwinkle groundcover, sweetgums, redbuds, cotoneasters, pyracanthas and many other species of plants. It’s too late to treat this year, but a systemic insecticide will prevent them next season. Apply it 3-4 weeks prior to the date of their appearance this year.
• Spider mites are causing fine webbing on ornamental milkweeds, marigolds and many other plants. Leaves develop tan mottling. Thump suspect leaf over sheet of white paper and look for nearly microscopic mites to start moving around on the paper. Use insecticide labeled for mites. Apply to both top and bottom leaf surfaces.
• Chinch bugs are causing browned, dead areas in St. Augustine turf, always in hottest, sunniest parts of the lawn. Many people in this year of drought have confused dry grass while overlooking real damage of chinch bugs. Grass at first appears dry, but watering does not help. You can see the chinch bugs at the interface of healthy and dying grass. Chinch bug damage will cease once it turns cool, but if they are still active apply a labeled insecticide.
• Gray leaf spot is causing St. Augustine turf to develop yellowed blotches. It is worst following applications of nitrogen, so do not feed St. Augustine between mid-June and early September. It’s still too early in light of recent high temperatures and continuing drought. Hopefully rains in the forecast will allow for changes.