“It’s August … What needs to be done
- Plant these fall vegetables early in the month: beans, cucumbers and squash. Follow up late in the month with transplants of broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. Acclimate transplants to full sun before planting. Water immediately after planting.
- Plant bluebonnet and other spring wildflowers starting this month. Select a sunny, well-drained area with minimal vegetation. If planting into existing vegetation, mow area as short as possible; then lightly disturb with a disk or rake. Drag seeded area to ensure good seed-soil contact.
- Plant fall-flowering bulbs such as spider lily, naked lady lily, rain lily, oxblood lily and fall crocus. Place in the ground twice as deep as the diameter of the bulb.
- Dig and divide daffodils, daylilies, iris, lirope, oxalis, and other spring-flowering perennials.
FERTILIZING AND PRUNING
- Caladiums require plenty of water if they are to remain lush and active until fall. Fertilize with 21-0-0 at the rate of 1/3 to 1/2 pound per 100 square feet of bed area and water thoroughly.
- Plants with yellowed leaves and dark green veins may be suffering from iron deficiency. Apply an iron/sulfur product.
- Prune bush roses to remove dead canes and weak, spindly growth. Cut back tall, vigorous bushes to about 30 inches. Then apply a complete fertilizer and water in for beautiful fall blooms.
- Pinch flowers from coleus, basil, mint, caladiums and other plants where flower buds and flowers stop production of new foliage.
- Your determinate tomatoes are probably spent, and now is the time to replant.
- Your indeterminates are probably slowing down, so…as difficult as it is, it is time to prune them back to about half their size. Fertilize, mulch, and keep them watered. Don’t give up–you will be rewarded with a second healthy tomato crop.
- By now you know the real winners and losers in your landscape. Replace the “losers” with a Texas Superstar®. These plants have been tested and proven to be outstanding performers under our growing conditions. Visit http://www.TexasSuperstar.com for a list of these amazing stars.
- Control fire ants in your lawn with mound treatments, as opposed to baits, since ants are foraging less now. Organic insecticides such as pyrethrins and spinoza can be sprinkled on or drenched into the mound.
- Continue to follow the “Homeowners Fruit and Nut Spray Schedule” to protect pecan trees against pecan weevils and hickory shuckworms, and to control peach tree borers on peach and plum trees.
- Order spring-flowering bulbs for planting in November and December. Remember ‘biggest is best’ in regard to bulb size. Be aware of “bargain” bulbs as they may be small or of inferior quality.
EXTREME GARDENING TOPICS:
Extreme Chemical Usage — In 2001 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that Americans used around 888 million pounds of conventional pesticides. these include: insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and rodenticides. An IPM or Integrated Pest Management system can help reduce the amount of pesticides we use. The goal of IPM is not to eradicate pests, but to eliminate pest problems by strengthening and stabilizing the landscape so that conditions are more favorable for plants than pests. This balance is achieved by employing a combination of practices to prevent or avoid pest problems rather than treating them once they occur. For more information go to https://ipm.tamu.edu./
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