Timely Tips: June 2015
Plant: Crape myrtles, in bloom, to ensure you get the exact color of your choice (plus a variety that will fit into the space you have for it), as well as other container-grown nursery stock. Hand-water new plants for first year. Tropical color plants for spot color in patio pots, hanging baskets. Summer annual color early in month. Choose heat-tolerant types that have been acclimated to sun (hopefully there was some!) at the nursery. Caladium tubers or potted plants, cutting-grown coleus and begonias into partially shaded areas. Bermudagrass, St. Augustine or zoysia. Start tomato transplants early in month, for planting late June.
Prune: Trees, shrubs to remove damaged branches or erratic growth produced in spring. You may even need to remove dead branches due to recent years’ drought. Remove spent flowers and seed stalks from perennials. Blackberries, to remove canes once those canes finish producing their fruit. (Canes bear fruit only one time, so the old canes must be removed.) Tip-prune new canes to encourage branching.
Fertilize: Due to all the rains, turfgrass, groundcovers, shrubs and trees, annual and perennial flower gardens and vegetables need to be fed with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen food. Apply iron/sulfur materials to correct chlorosis (yellowed leaves, dark green veins – most prominent on newest growth). Keep iron products off masonry, painted surfaces to prevent staining. High-nitrogen, water-soluble fertilizer for pots, hanging baskets with each watering. Their nutrients drain away quickly from their porous potting soils.
On the Lookout: Early blight fungus causes yellowed blotches on lower leaves of tomatoes. This disease showed up early this year, and it’s likely to stick around. Apply a labeled fungicide as soon as you see the bottom leaves starting to yellow. Spider mites cause tiny tan mottling from base of plant upward. You’ll see them on junipers, tomatoes, beans, marigolds and ageratum, among many others. Bagworms on evergreens. Control at first sighting, while they’re still very small and before they devour most of needles. Once they have tied themselves to the twigs, sprays will be of no help. Lacebugs leave foliage of pyracanthas, sycamores, boxwood and others tan. You will see small black, waxy specks on the backs of the “bleached” leaves. Webworms in pecans, walnuts, sweetgums (prune small webs out promptly). Image or Sedgehammer to control purple nutsedge in St. Augustine, bermuda turf and landscape beds. Remove rose plants known to be infested with rose rosette virus disease. (See my website details, https://neilsperry.com/notes/2015/03/rose-rosette-disease/)