Timely Tips: July 2014
Plant: Fall tomatoes, small and medium-sized pumpkins early in month. Peppers mid- to late-month. Fall color, including zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, celosia, Joseph’s coat, copper plants, firebush. Warm-season turf from sod, plugs or by seeding. Crape myrtles in bloom, also other nursery stock. Transport home carefully to protect foliage, flowers. Water them by hand every day for the next couple of months.
Prune: Roses monthly to maintain shape, vigor. If you are seeing any of the fatal rose rosette virus, remove and destroy the plants, roots and all. Its telltale symptoms: clubby stalks and several times the normal number of thorns. Trim summer perennials to remove old flower stalks and seed heads. Trees as needed to allow more sun to reach grass below.
Fertilize: Lawngrasses every 8 to 10 weeks with high-quality, slow-release high-nitrogen (sandy soils) or all-nitrogen (clay soils) fertilizer. Wait until September to feed St. Augustine again. Apply same material to most other landscape, garden plants unless soil test shows you need additional phosphorus. Container plants with each watering (perhaps as often as daily in the heat) with very diluted, water-soluble fertilizer. Chlorotic plants with iron, either in liquid or granular form. Spray foliage in evening after sun is down. Keep spray off masonry, painted surfaces.
On The Lookout: Scale insects on euonymus, hollies, camellias, crape myrtles, foliage plants, (horticultural oils, systemic insecticides). Aphids causing sticky honeydew drippage from pecans, oaks, crape myrtles and others. Leafrollers in vinca, sweetgums, cannas and others (systemic insecticide). Chinch bugs in hot, sunny parts of St. Augustine turf. Grass will appear dry even after watering. Apply approved turf insecticide. Gray leaf spot in St. Augustine (withhold nitrogen until fall). Learn symptoms of moisture stress (yellowed leaves in interior of large plants, leaf scorch and burned margins). Soak soil thoroughly, and mulch plants well.