Our South Texas spring and summer have been very different from last year. I feel blessed each time it rains. The landscapes and lawns are lush across our part of the country.
When we have a dry spell, water your trees, landscapes, flowers and fruit trees. Each will need one inch of water each week to keep it healthy.
Get ready for fall planting by preparing the beds for tomato transplants by marking the spots with a mound of fertilizer plus a handful of compost on top. Water it in. When it is time to plant the plants, dig a hole and place a handful of rock phosphate in the hole. Plant into the phosphate; do not mix it into the soil. Water well after planting. This will give the plant a terrific boost. And, as always, keep the new plant watered.
Sow beans, squash, cucumbers, and corn. Later in the month, plant cold crops such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, pumpkin, and souther peas.
In the flower beds, plant annuals and perrenials such as zinnias, marigold, celosia, Mexican bush sage, mums, asters, and Mexican mint marigold. Continue to deadhead all bloomed flowers. This means removing the dead flower blooms. Also, fertilize flower beds and patio pots every 2-3 weeks.
Be on the look-out for aphids, spider mites, and caterpillars. Strong streams of water will deter some of the insects. This will help with any worms, including web worms. Spray spider mites with molasses once a week.
Mow your lawn at least once a week. It will thicken the grass and get rid of weeds. When it cools off, you may add compost and fertilizer. Don’t mow very low and it will keep the roots from sunburning.
This is the season for chinch bugs in the lawn. Watch for dry- looking spots in the grass near sidewalks. It will look like the grass is dead. Chinch bugs suck the juices from the grass blades, causing the blades to decline and die. Check with your favorite nursery or hardware store for preventage.
Thin iris and move to another location or share with friends. Don’t plant them too deep.
Near the middle of the month, apply the last Pecan spray of insecticide and fungicide to protect against pests and disease. This also helps protect against Pecan Weevils.
Pinch faded blossoms from crape myrtle but don’t trim the branches. They should bloom again this fall. Add fertilizer and continue to water.
Prepare for fall flowers and spring wildflowers. The seed must come in contact with the soil. Before planting, cut the weeds or grass as low as possible and rake the soil or spread new soil in the growing area. September or October is best for planting. If the seed should sprout now and there isn’t any rain for a long period of time, unless you can water, they will die in the summer heat. Plant seeds for bluebonnets, larkspur, California poppy, snapdragons, and sweet alyssum.
Remember, where the soil is bare, nature plants a weed.
TIP: Mulch the beds with quality compost to conserve moisture and enrich the soil.