Gardening This Weekend: May 25, 2023

If you have a few hours to spend in the landscape and garden, here are some things you might want to accomplish this weekend.

Nurseries may have markdowns on trees, shrubs, perennials and other landscape plants this weekend. Supplies are still good, but they’ll be dropping back as we head into summer. Transport your new plants home carefully. Plant them immediately. Water them thoroughly.
Replace your cool-season color with moss rose, hybrid purslane, scaevola (fanflowers), pentas, trailing lantanas, copper plants, purple fountaingrass, angelonias, firebush, cleome and other summertime annuals.
Crape myrtles, althaeas and other summer-flowering shrubs as they begin to come into bloom in nurseries. That way you’ll be sure of getting the exact colors you want. Check mature sizes to be sure that they fit the space you have available for them.
New turf from seed, sod or plugs. You can plant later into the summer, but it will be much more difficult due to the heat.

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Mow lawn at height recommended for that type of turfgrass. Maintaining grass at mowing height higher than recommended results in thinning turf that becomes weak and weedy.
Low-hanging branches from shade trees if they are causing lawngrass beneath to thin from lack of sufficient sunlight.
Erratic shoots of new spring growth from shrubs and vines to maintain natural growth forms.
Spent flowers, seedheads from perennials, roses, shrubs and vines. Foliage from daffodils and other spring bulbs, but only after it turns brown.

Use high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to feed patio pots and hanging baskets each time you water them. Supplement that with timed-release fertilizer.
Lawn with high-quality, all-nitrogen plant food, upwards of half that nitrogen in encapsulated or coated, slow-release form.
Same lawn food can be used on almost all flower, fruit, and vegetable plants as well.

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Use a high-grade sunscreen. This is the voice of experience speaking. It works if you use it.
St. Augustine and other turf for take all root rot. See diagnostic information we have archived on my website.
Rose rosette virus if your plants and their flowers are growing and blooming strangely. I have archived information on this fatal virus on my website. Click to see photos.
Chiggers. If you are going to be working in weeds or walking in bermudagrass of any kind, better protect yourself and your children by spraying legs, feet, socks, shoes, cuffs and arms with DEET repellent. These microscopic pests are active from May until mid-summer. It’s easier to protect ourselves than it is to spray the entire environment. Plus, the repellent protects us against mosquitoes.
Bagworms on junipers, arborvitae and other cone-bearing evergreens. Bacillus thuringiensis and almost any inorganic insecticide will eliminate them. It’s important that you control them while they are small and still feeding actively.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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