Gardening This Weekend: May 11, 2023

Weeks don’t get any busier than May when you have school kids or grandkids around. Concerts, graduations, weddings, parties. And that’s just this weekend. Let’s look at the gardening things you’ll want to get done as well.

New turfgrass from sod, seed, plugs or by hydromulching. Prepare soil carefully prior to planting.
Nursery stock. Carry it home carefully, protecting it from highway winds by covering it with old nursery shade fabric, old blankets, sheets or any other material that you can tie carefully in place.
Hot-weather annuals. Caladiums can finally be planted (soils are warm enough). Coleus, begonias, angelonias, Dahlberg daisies, fanflowers, pentas, lantanas, purple fountaingrass, ‘Cora’ XDR periwinkles (because of their extra disease resistance), alternantheras, ornametal sweet potatoes – the list goes on and on. Shop at a really good independent retail garden center.
Perennials for summer color. Nurseries have excellent selections, but buy soon. They probably will not restock as summer approaches.

Continued Below

Pinch growing tips out of fall asters, Mexican bush sage, mums, copper plants, coleus and other plants that tend to grow tall and lanky if you do not.
Last call to reshape your spring-flowering shrubs and vines. Do so lightly, however, because they’ve already produced a lot of new growth. Try to avoid unnatural square or round shapes.
Prune to remove spent rose blooms as they drop their petals. Give your rose plants a close check for rose rosette virus and remove the plants immediately and entirely (including roots) if you see it. Visual inspections are adequate. See examples on my website.
We continue to see freeze damage done to our oaks more than two years ago. If you have a live oak or other species that has lost major branches, and especially if bark has split and is peeling away in chunks, have a certified arborist inspect it closely. Limbs may need to be removed. The entire tree might need to be taken down before it falls.

Patio pots and hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer every week or two. Supplement it with a long-lasting, timed-release product.
Apply high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen plant food to trees, shrubs, vines, groundcovers, annuals, perennials, and turf. Perhaps surprisingly, the same fertilizer will probably suffice with all of the plants that you’re growing. The Texas A&M Soil Testing Lab has been preaching that gospel for many years. Most of our soils have excessive amounts of phosphorus already.
Use iron/sulfur soil acidifier product to correct iron deficiency. (Yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on newest growth first.)

Continued Below

Yellowed blades in St. Augustine turf this time of year does not necessarily mean nutrient shortage. It could be Take All Root Rot (TARR). If roots are decayed and very short, that’s further evidence. It’s a cool-season problem, particularly in heavily shaded or poorly draining parts of the yard. The fungicide Azoxystrobin is labeled as the best control.
Chiggers are abundant in bermuda that has not been mowed recently, also in weeds in fields, roadsides and even parks. Apply DEET repellent to your legs and feet, also to the outsides of your socks and shoes. They are microscopic, but their itch is as big as Texas.
Same DEET repellent is the best way to deter mosquitoes. Yes, there are other ways of keeping them from biting you, but they’re not as dependable. With potentially fatal viruses involved, I’m going to give my family the product that is most likely to protect them.

Posted by Neil Sperry
Back To Top