Gardening This Weekend: August 17, 2023

Believe it or not, late August is a very busy time for gardeners in Texas. To help you, I’ve made a list.

Leafy and root vegetables, including lettuce, spinach, collards, beets, turnips and radishes, among others.
You’re running out of time to find crape myrtles in good bloom in local nurseries. It’s always best to buy them in flower to be sure you get the colors you want.
Just about last call for seeding bermuda. Soils will begin to cool in the next several weeks and the grass won’t develop properly.
Similarly, you’re almost out of time for planting new St. Augustine sod. Water two or three times daily for a few minutes to keep the soil surface moist. New grass, whether seeded or sodded, dries out very quickly in hot weather.
Wildflower seeds, particularly bluebonnets over the next several weeks. They need the early fall rains to germinate and establish good roots going into the winter so they can burst into full bloom as spring unfolds. Buy acid-scarified seeds for most uniform germination.

Continued Below

Mow at the recommended height. Raising the mower blade, in spite of what others may tell you, improves neither summer durability nor winter hardiness.
Seed heads, browned foliage and spent flowers from perennial gardens. Leave green foliage intact, but it’s always OK to trim off dead leaves.
Once weather breaks in next couple of weeks, root-prune trees and shrubs you intend to transplant this winter. By trimming their horizontal roots by cutting a slit with a sharpshooter spade, you will give them several months to establish new roots within what will become their soil balls when you dig them.
That will also be the time to root-prune wisterias that have failed to bloom in years past. Use a sharpshooter spade to sever lateral roots 15 to 18 inches out from the trunk. Do not attempt to cut any deeper roots.

Bermuda turf if it’s been more than 8 or 10 weeks since last you did. Use an all-nitrogen food containing upwards of half of its nitrogen in slow release, coated or encapsulated form.
St. Augustine in a week or two (once temperatures begin to drop), probably for the first time since early summer. That’s because gray leaf spot outbreaks will abate as temperatures cool.
Annual flowers with high-nitrogen food if plants have become lethargic and shy about blooming.
Iron chlorosis. Almost last chance to correct iron deficiency for this growing season. Add iron/sulfur amendment. Keep granules off concrete and masonry to prevent staining.

Continued Below

On the Lookout
Pre-emergent weedkiller applications of Dimension, Halts or Balan must be made between August 25 and September 7 for winter weeds such as annual bluegrass, rescuegrass and ryegrass. That’s before their seeds sprout. Once they germinate it will be too late to prevent them. Watch for more details here next week, but start searching for the products now.
Leaf scorch (browned leaf edges and tips). This is evidence of moisture stress at some point during the summer. If there has been no injury to trunk or roots, your solution is to keep plant uniformly moist at all times.
Keep an eye on developing cabbage, broccoli and other Cole crops for holes in leaves caused by cabbage loopers. Apply Bacillus thuringiensis biological worm control at first evidence.

Posted by Neil Sperry
Back To Top