Gardening This Weekend: August 25, 2022
This is the last e-gardens of summer (next week will be September), so these are a bit of a wrap-up of things you’ll want to get done.
• Leafy and root crops for your fall garden. It’s too late for most other vegetables unless you’re in Deep South Texas.
• New turf from sod immediately. Many cities have gone to water restrictions. Be sure you’ll be allowed to water the new plantings for short intervals once or twice daily for the first couple of weeks to get the grass established. Otherwise, wait until late April to plant.
• If you have had rainfall, wildflower seeds into lightly prepared soil. Avoid areas where grass will compete, and don’t prepare the soil to excess. Rich, overly nutritious soils result in luxuriant wildflowers that are shy to bloom.
• Nursery stock to replace plants that have died either from cold or drought, but make provision to water by hand. Use a bubbler so you can water deeply and thoroughly. Again, check local restrictions. It may be better to wait until spring.
• Trees and large shrubs that were damaged by weather of the past 18 months. Remove broken or split branches with clean cuts. Do not climb or rest ladders against vulnerable trees.
• Erratic summer branching and dead limbs from shrubs. Reshape as possible and be prepared to replace if plants are damaged beyond “repair.”
• Ragged annual beds and patio pots to reshape for a burst of fall growth.
• Plant to feed turf over Labor Day weekend to promote good fall growth. That might include St. Augustine for the first time in 10 weeks. Temperatures have moderated somewhat and gray leaf spot should be less of a problem.
• Fall vegetable plantings with a high-nitrogen fertilizer to keep plants growing vigorously.
• Patio pots with water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer to promote strong growth this fall.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Pre-emergent weedkiller granules should be applied between now and Labor Day. See related story this issue.
• Stinging caterpillars become more prevalent in fall. Learn to recognize puss caterpillars, IO moth caterpillars, Hagg moth caterpillars. In general, it’s best not to handle any caterpillars with fuzz or bristles.
• Snakes may be hiding in piles of debris, especially where it has been accumulating over the summer. Use a long-handled hoe or rake to pull trash and stacks apart before reaching down to pick things up.