Gardening This Weekend: June 22, 2023

Here’s your list of the prime gardening activities to work into your early morning and evening hours.


  • Crape myrtles while nurseries have their best supplies of the year. Plants are in bloom now so you can match your chosen colors. Look carefully at each type’s mature size to be sure all will fit the spaces you have for them.
  • Hot-weather annuals to provide color now until frost. Your Texas Certified Nursery Professional can guide you to the best choices.
  • New turf from sod, plugs or seed. You’ll have to water at least daily, perhaps morning and evening, for the first couple of weeks to help the grass get established.
  • Fall tomato transplants between now and the end of the first week of July.

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  • Pinch-prune begonias, coleus, copper plants and others to keep plants more compact.
  • Spring- and early summer-flowering perennials to remove spent flower and seed stalks.


  • Bermuda lawns with all-nitrogen fertilizer (half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form). Do not feed St. Augustine during heat of summer if gray leaf spot fungus has been a problem in years past.
  • Iron with sulfur additive to correct iron deficiency (yellowed leaves with dark green veins most visible on newest growth at tips of twigs). Keep iron products off brick, mortar, stone and concrete due to staining. It’s usually futile to try to correct iron deficiency in larger species when growing them in alkaline soils. Classic examples: pin oaks in the Blackland Prairie.

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  • Webworms have been slower to show up than usual this year. Watch for them forming webs in pecans, persimmons, walnuts and other trees as larvae feed on foliage. It may be easiest to prune out small webs as they develop. Use long-handled pole pruner and be very mindful of any power lines that might be nearby. Or you could spray with a labeled organic or inorganic insecticide if the webs aren’t too high in the air. Include one drop of liquid dishwashing detergent with the spray to help it break the surface tension of the webs so spray can penetrate.
  • Bagworms in junipers and other cone-bearing plants are also likely to show up very soon. Watch closely every couple of days. When you see them pulling their tiny bags around behind them as they feed voraciously that will be the time to apply almost any general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticide to stop them. One treatment per year is usually all that is needed.
  • Chinch bugs were terrible last summer. Look for them in hottest, sunniest areas of St. Augustine. The grass will appear dry but will not respond to irrigation. The bugs themselves will be visible in dying areas (not in dead grass). They are BB-sized, black with white diamonds on their wings. Apply labeled insecticide such as Imidacloprid as soon as you identify them. They can kill large patches within a few days.
  • Lacebugs attack blades of American elm, sycamore, bur oak, azalea, pyracantha, boxwood, Boston ivy and other plants, turning them mottled tan. You will see black peppery specks (excrement) on backs of leaves. Apply general-purpose insecticide to stop further damage.
  • Spider mites attack beans, tomatoes, marigolds and a large percentage of our landscape and garden plants. They, too, produce fine tan mottling but you won’t see the black specks of excrement. Thump a suspect leaf over white paper. The mites will be very tiny, and if present they will start moving across the paper. Several insecticides are labeled for control of spider mites, although you’ll often need to repeat a couple of times.
Posted by Neil Sperry
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