Gardening Guide

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Monthly Gardening Tips (Conventional & Organic) – August

PLANT:

  • Annuals & Tropicals – Vinca, angelonia, marigolds, pentas, lantana, blue daze, zinnias, moss rose, sweet potato vine, ornamental peppers, hibiscus, bougainvillea, mandevilla, esparanza, coleus, caladiums and more.
  • Perennials – Pincushion, salvia, coreopsis, daylily, rudbeckia, blackfoot daisy, Mexican petunia, skullcap, coneflower, hardy hibiscus, butterfly bush, Turk’s cap, sedum, coral bells, oxalis, ferns, hostas and
  • Trees, palms, shrubs, vines, ornamental grasses & groundcovers (handwatering a must in summer).
  • Choose Crape Myrtles now while in bloom for color you want (dwarf shrub & tree-form available).
  • Bermuda seed or sod, St. Augustine & Zoysia sod –Water daily first few weeks while getting established.
  • Beans, cucumber, squash, okra, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, peppers, eggplant, leafy & root veggies when available.

PRUNE:

  • Shrubs to reshape. Trim rose bushes by 1/3 early in month, then fertilize & water to stimulate fall growth.
  • Dead wood & lower limbs in trees to let more sun on lawn and landscape plantings. To prevent the spread of oak wilt, prune Red Oaks or Live Oaks in late summer or early fall.
  • Prune spent Vitex & Crape Myrtle blooms to encourage reblooming.
  • Fireblight damaged trees/shrubs to remove damaged limbs. Prune below damage into healthy tissue. Sanitize pruners in bleach solution after each cut. Spray trees & shrubs w/Bonide Copper Fungicide after pruning.
  • Spent flowers, leaves & seedheads on perennials. Cut leggy annuals back to keep them compact.
  • Mow lawn regularly at recommended height (1½” for Bermuda; 2-2½” for St. Augustine and Zoysia).

WATER:

  • Container plants & flower beds in sun need daily watering. Water shrubs & trees less frequently but deeply to produce hardier, better rooted plants.  Supplement sprinkler watering with hand watering to make sure plants receive adequate water.  Inspect sprinkler system regularly to ensure it is working properly. Use soaker hoses when possible or install drip irrigation for more efficient water usage.
  • Trees installed for less than two years must have special care to ensure a strong and healthy root system.  See our Plant Article Tree Care for the First Two Years for all the details.
  • To improve water retention, add Soil Moist & Expanded Shale (holds 38% of its weight in water) or use Covington’s Soil Builder which contains compost, greensand, and expanded shale, and will break up clay, add nutrients, retain moisture, and revitalize microbial activity.
  • Top dress landscape/flower beds with 2-3 inch layer of mulch to help retain moisture, reduce weeds, and maintain soil temperature. Treat lawn & landscaped areas with Hydretain for greater soil moisture retention.

NOTE:  Use tree wrap on young shade trees (oaks, maples, etc.) to protect them from sunscald.

CONVENTIONAL FERTILIZATION, PLUS WEED, DISEASE & PEST CONTROL SOLUTIONS

FERTILIZE:

  • Flowers, veggies and herbs with Covington’s Premium Flower & Garden Fertilizer or use Ferti-lome Gardeners Special 11-15-11 for your herbs and vegetables.
  • Newly planted trees and shrubs every 3-4 weeks for the first year with Ferti-lome Root Stimulator.
  • Trees, shrubs, vines, groundcovers, and perennials with Covington’s Tree and Shrub Fertilizer.
  • Bermuda and Zoysia with Covington’s Premium Lawn Fertilizer 21-7-14 or Covington’s High Performance all nitrogen 25-0-0 fertilizer. Wait until September to fertilize St. Augustine grass.
  • Strengthen foliage & increase production on fruit/pecan trees with Ferti-lome Fruit, Citrus & Pecan Fertilizer.
  • Roses with Ferti-lome Rose Food or Ferti-lome Rose Food with Systemic Insecticide.
  • Iron-deficient plants with Dr. Iron or with Ferti-lome Soil Acidifier Plus Iron.

WEEDS & DISEASE CONTROL:

  • Spot treat broadleaf weeds such as dandelion, henbit & clover in St. Augustine or Bermuda grass with Ferti-lome Weed Out; Spot treat nutsedge with Sedge Ender.
  • Apply Bonide Infuse Lawn Fertilizer to St. Augustine for fungal infections such as Brown Patch & Gray Leaf Spot. For added protection, spread ½ inch layer of Canadian Brown Sphagnum Peat Moss on infected area & water in.
  • Use Ferti-lome Systemic Fungicide for powdery mildew, disease & fungi on hawthorn, photinias, roses, etc.

INSECT & PEST CONTROL:

  • For mosquitoes, armyworms, webworms & cankerworms, use Bonide Eight Insecticide or Hi-Yield 55% Malathion.
  • Use Bonide Insect and Grub Control Granules for grub & chinch bug control.
  • Control fire ant mounds, fleas, and ticks with Bonide Ant, Flea & Tick Killer.
  • Use Hi-Yield Slug & Snail Killer to control slugs and snails on flowers and foliage, or use Sluggo Plus in areas near pets and children’s play areas.
  • Control aphids, spider mites, mealy bugs, thrips and other problem insects w/Bonide Systemic Insect Control.
  • For best control of scale & to kill borers in the trunks of trees, use Bonide or Ferti-lome Systemic Insect Drench which protect for months.
  • Continue spray program for fruit and nut trees. Use Ferti-lome Triple Action or Bonide Fruit Tree Spray.
  • For grasshoppers, use Hi-Yield 55% Malathion or Bonide Eight Insect Control.
  • For elm tree damage from elm leaf beetle larva use Bonide Eight (contact killer with Permethrin).

ORGANIC FERTILIZATION, PLUS WEED, DISEASE & PEST CONTROL SOLUTIONS

FERTILIZE:

  • Newly planted trees and shrubs with Garrett Juice Plus to help prevent transplant shock, increase beneficial microorganisms, and encourage root development.
  • Flowers and perennials with Happy Frog Acid Loving Fertilizer.
  • Turf, shrubs, and trees with Good Natured Texas 2-Step Fertilizer,
  • Vegetable gardens with use Happy Frog Tomato & Vegetable Fertilizer.
  • Use Corn Gluten Meal 9-0-0 to feed turf and prevent weeds. Also spread Dry Molasses to enhance weed control and encourage healthy soil.
  • Add Texas Greensand for deep greening in lawns, trees and landscape plants.

WEEDS & DISEASE CONTROL:

  • Spot treat grassy and broadleaf weeds with 20% Vinegar. Add 2 oz. of Orange Oil per gallon of vinegar to enhance the kill on weeds and grasses.
  • Apply Horticultural Corn Meal on landscape plants, vegetables, and turf grass for disease control.

INSECT & PEST CONTROL:

  • Use Ferti-lome Come and Get It Spinosad Bait for protection from fire ants. To treat individual fire ant mounds, use 3 – 4 ounces of Orange Oil per gallon of water as a mound drench. Spray Orange Oil in areas infested with pillbugs, sow bugs, and spiders.
  • Repel mosquitoes with Cedar Warrior Granules. Use Mosquito Bits with BTI to kill mosquito larvae in standing water & to control fungus gnats in houseplants, flower beds, and containers.
  • For armyworms, webworms & cankerworms on shrubs/trees, use Hi-Yield Thuricide at dusk or Spinosad.
  • For bugs & fungus use Ferti-lome Triple Action Plus containing Neem Oil. Safe to use on fruit trees.
  • Spray Bonide All Season Oil for scale on hollies, crape myrtles & fruit trees. In hot weather, use these oil products in early morning or evening!
  • Control slugs & snails with Sluggo Plus with Spinosad.
  • Use Diatomaceous Earth for crawling insects and grasshoppers.
  • To deter pesky flower and plant-munching rabbits, use Rabbit Scram and/or Bonide Repels-All spray.
  • Get rid of armadillos with eco-friendly Armadillo Repellant in a convenient hose end sprayer.