Gardening This Weekend: August 10, 2023

In respect to your back-to-school workload and the high temperatures around us, here’s the pared down list of gotta-dos for this time of the year.

Dig and divide established daffodils, jonquils and narcissus before new root growth begins. If you’re going to be ordering more for planting in a few weeks, start shopping now.
Cole crops. Set out vigorous nursery transplants, including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
Fall foliage color from copper plants, firebush (also has blooms) and purple fountaingrass.
Fall flower color from zinnias, marigolds and celosias. You may have to look a little bit, but whenever possible buy potted transplants that are in bud but not yet in bloom.

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Salvia greggii and rose bushes by one-third to stimulate new growth and blooms this fall. If your roses are infected with the fatal rose rosette virus remove and destroy the plants, roots and all, immediately.
Flowers from coleus, basil, mint, caladiums and other plants where flower buds and flowers stop production of new foliage.
Spent flower stalks, seedheads and weeds from annual and perennial plantings to keep landscape tidy.

Bermuda turf with all-nitrogen lawn food in which half or more of the nitrogen is in slow-release form.
Do not fertilize St. Augustine for another 3-4 weeks to avoid late-season outbreak of gray leaf spot (fungus that is exacerbated by applications of nitrogen).
Water-soluble, high-nitrogen plant food to container plants including hanging baskets. Nutrients are not retained very long with frequent irrigation and lightweight potting soils.
Iron-deficient plants. Look for yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominent on newest growth first. Apply iron with sulfur added.

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Chinch bugs in St. Augustine. Big areas first look dry, then dead and brown in spite of watering. Get down on your hands and knees in the hottest part of the afternoon. Look at the interface of the dying and healthy grass. You’ll probably find small black insects flitting around there. Look for irregular white diamonds on their backs. Treat with a labeled lawn insecticide.
If you have nutsedge (nutgrass) in your lawn, this is almost your last call to apply Image or Sedgehammer to eliminate it. Both products need several weeks of warm soils to complete their work.
Leafrollers are attacking vinca groundcover, redbuds, sweetgums, cotoneasters, pyracanthas and several other types of shade trees and shrubs, also cannas. They roll up the leaves or tie them together as protection. Systemic insecticides will stop them, but only if applied 2-3 weeks prior to their arrival.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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