Gardening This Weekend: June 15, 2023

Tend to these things right away. Stay ahead of any crises.


  • Woody plants (trees, shrubs and groundcovers) at any time. Be prepared to apply 5-10 gallons of water per tree or shrub every couple of days now through the end of September or longer.
  • Heat-tolerant annuals and tropical color plants to carry you now through mid-fall. Don’t want to work up a big bed? Plant in large patio pots. They give almost as much impact for a lot less total effort.
  • Crape myrtles while in full bloom so you can see the exact shades. Read labels carefully to determine maximum heights. Match them up with the spots you have for them.
  • Lawngrass from seed, sod or plugs. Water lightly daily (or more often) until grass takes root and starts growing actively. Then gradually water more heavily but less often.

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  • Trees and shrubs that have been killed by the past two winters of cold. Unless you’re already seeing new sprouts, they are not coming back, and larger plants can present a clear hazard of falling.
  • Remove flower buds from basil, coleus, santolina, caladiums, lambs ear. They stall production of new leaves and plants become unattractive.
  • Remove blackberry canes that have just borne fruit since they will never bear again. Pinch growing tips out of new shoots to keep them compact.
  • Lanky, unattractive shoots from shrubs. Avoid formal shearing to maintain natural look.


  • Iron to chlorotic plants showing yellowed leaves with dark green veins most prominently on newest growth. Many products include sulfur to keep iron in a soluble (“available”) form. Keep iron products off masonry, painted surfaces to prevent staining.
  • Patio containers and hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen plant food at least weekly. Supplement these feedings with encapsulated, timed-release fertilizer.

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  • Chiggers when you’re working in bermudagrass or weeds. They are not as common in St. Augustine turf. Apply DEET spray to your feet, ankles and calves, also to your socks and cuffs. If you’re pulling weeds, also to your hands and wrists. Might as well spritz your back and head to keep mosquitos at bay.
  • Lace bugs causing pale tan, mottled spots on leaves of boxwoods, loropetalums, pyracanthas, azaleas, Boston ivy, sycamores, chinquapin oaks, bur oaks and other shrubs and trees. Apply systemic insecticide Imidacloprid 2-3 weeks prior to outbreak dates of past years.
  • Leafrollers will soon begin to tie leaves of redbuds, sweetgums, pyracanthas and especially trailing vinca groundcover together. Affected leaves will quickly turn brown. Apply systemic insecticide Imidacloprid as drench to soil to kill them as they start to feed.
Posted by Neil Sperry
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