TREES AND SHRUBS:
many areas of Texas have received ample (or more than ample in some cases!)
rainfall, trees and shrubs continue to show stress this month from our
previous summers of drought. Do not hesitate to get up close and investigate
for yourself or call a professional arborist if your trees do not respond to
additional watering when needed. If you find insects or suspicious lesions,
call your county extension service
) to tell them what type of tree it is and what you
have found. You are probably not alone in your hunt for a culprit in your
tree’s decline and the extension office is a great source of info. They
have most likely had hundreds of calls just like yours and have already done
the footwork, able to make recommendations on what your next step should be.
Scale insects are particularly active now, resembling white bumps or scabs
on the leaves of shrubs. Summer oil, available at most nursery and
landscape supply stores, may be used but follow label directions carefully,
as leaves are susceptible to burn in the hot summer sun. As we told you in
last month’s “Activities”, an arborist is often necessary for emergency
care, so check out
www.treesaregood.com to locate one in your area.
bone meal and water into root area of bulbs now to enable them the food to
make it through the winter ahead.
~Do not be tempted to over-water Shasta daisies. This is also true for
many verbena varieties. It is normal for them to have ceased blooming and
to have browned some. This is not necessarily a lack of water. They are
highly susceptible to fungus infections if over-watered.
~A good pruning (cutting back) of sad looking perennials --- including
those verbenas --- will often give them new life this fall. Pinch back mums
for a final time at the beginning of the month for opti-mum fall blooms.
plants that have ceased to produce should be removed so that preparation for
fall gardening can be made.
~Sow seeds for fall vegetables such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots,
Swiss chard, collards, onions lettuce, parsley, peas, spinach and other cool
season veggies. Wait until September/October for transplants.
~Summer annuals may begin to hang their
heads this month. As with perennials, they may be cut back and then fed
well for a fall resurgence.
patches in the lawn, especially St. Augustine, may be a fungal disease aptly
called “brown patch”. The patches are typically larger than 3’ with the
inner grass re-greening after a time. Ask your nursery professional for a
fungicide that targets brown patch or, if beginning a new lawn, try a grass
that is not susceptible to it, such as ‘Floritam’ St. Augustine. Check out
the “Aggie Hort” page to search for more info (http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/tamuhort.html