Gardening This Weekend: May 9, 2024

This is one of the “primest” of times in the landscape and garden. Everything is growing at breakneck speed. Let’s look at details of things you’ll want to get done.

Warm-weather annuals that can stand up to the summer heat. Topping that list: trailing lantana, gomphrena, moss rose, hybrid purslane, angelonias, fanflowers, pentas, purple fountaingrass, Gold Star Esperanza, Profusion zinnias, firebush, and copper plant.
Late-spring and summer perennials while nurseries have them in quart and gallon containers in bud and bloom.
Trees, shrubs, vines, and groundcovers now. Cover the plants to protect their foliage on way home from the nursery and plant immediately. Water with a hose and water breaker or bubbler every 2-3 days now into mid-fall. Sprinkler irrigation and drippers will not be adequate for first 1-2 years.
New sod or seed to start new turf. This is the best possible time for starting new grass, before it turns summertime-warm.

Continued Below

Mow at recommended height for the type of turfgrass that you’re growing. “Mowing high” does not provide summer durability. It weakens the grass and makes it more susceptible to thinning and weeds.
Browned flower stalks on spring-blooming perennials, old foliage on spring bulbs once it has turned yellow, then brown.
Newly transplanted trees and shrubs if they were dug with subsequent loss of roots if you did not prune them at the time of planting. This compensates for reduced ability to take up water during heat.

All-nitrogen fertilizer for lawns, landscape plants and even flowers and vegetables in most Texas soils. The middle number (phosphorus) accumulates in clay soils and can become harmful. In sandy soils your fertilizer may need some phosphorus. Have your soil tested every couple of years to monitor changes.
Liquid or water-soluble, high-nitrogen foods to hanging baskets, patio pots each time that you water them. Supplement with timed-release product.
Iron additive to correct chlorosis. Use one that also contains sulfur soil acidifier to help keep the iron in a soluble form.

Continued Below

Looping type caterpillars on vegetables, flowers can be controlled best with organic insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis either in spray or dust form.
Chiggers are active now that it’s hot! They are in bermudagrass turf and especially in weeds, ditches, and pastures. Reach in to pick ripe dewberries and you’ll come back with an armful of chiggers. (Personal experience.) I recommend spraying yourself with DEET repellent rather than trying to spray your entire lawn and landscape.
DEET will stop mosquitoes and their diseases, too. They are also prevalent because of all the spring rains.
Poison ivy and other broadleafed (non-grassy) weeds with one of the many products containing 2,4-D.

Posted by Neil Sperry
Back To Top