Transplant fall tomatoes plants in your garden by mid-August. One of the issues that vegetable gardeners fail to realize is that insect and disease pressure is generally greater in the fall than the spring. This means that you need to be watchful and address pest problems when they begin-when itfs easier to bring under control. Be sure to thoroughly read the label before apply any pesticide. The label contains important information to help you address the problem, to keep you and others safe, also to keep the environment safe.
Water your vegetables and flower gardens deeply and thoroughly once or twice per week during dry weather. When a good soaking rain occurs, adjust your watering schedule accordingly. A daily watering is not recommended for established plants as it will increase the risk of disease and it encourages a shallow root system. Newly seeded beds, however, should be watered daily until the seeds come up. New transplants also need to be watered more frequently. Remember that plants in containers may need to be watered daily.
Remove the old brown canes that produced this year’s fruit from blackberry bushes if you’ve haven’t already done so. These brown canes will not produce again. The green vegetative canes should remain, but can be tipped to control their height and promote lateral growth. These are the canes that will produce next year’s crop.
Chinch bugs become very active in lawns at this time of the year. Look for symptoms such as dead areas, or straw or tan colored areas especially in sunny dry locations such as along concrete surfaces, next to driveways, sidewalks, or along the street. If you notice these areas getting bigger by the day it may be chinch bugs. Treat with Talstar, Bifenthrin, Acephate or any other labeled products.
If you've noticed that your rose blooms are not quite as vibrant as they were earlier in the year, blame it on the heat. Rose blossoms are often smaller, and the color not as brilliant, during the stressful midsummer months. As the temperatures moderate the quantity and quality of the blooms will improve. Prune ever--]blooming roses back about one--]third their height in late August or early September. Also, remove any dead canes and weak spindly growth. This pruning prepares the roses for the outstanding blooming season in October and November. However, if you have once--]blooming roses that bloom only in spring or early summer and stop, or youfll be reducing flowering next year.
As we progress into later summer and fall you may notice a fine silvery webbing on the bark of area trees. This is being caused by tiny insects called psocids or bark lice. These are tiny scavengers that consume organic matter and other debris in the cracks and crevices on the bark of trees. They are harmless and no control is needed.
Harvest pears by late August. The best fresh eating quality is produced when the fruit is ripened off of the tree. Pick firm pears that have begun to show slight yellow or red blush. Wrap individual pears in newspaper and place in paper bags or cardboard boxes. The pears will soften in about 7--]10 days. This process is not necessary if you intend to cook and then freeze, or can the pears.
If needed, dig and divide Louisiana irises, Easter lilies, and calla lilies this month.
Control caterpillar problems on ornamentals with a pesticide containing BT, Spinosad or Sevin ( carbaryl ). BT is a bacterium that only attacks caterpillars and is harmless to other organisms. It is essentially nontoxic and is appropriate for use by organic gardeners. Spinosad is also organic. Make applications before damage is too extensive, and make sure the damage is fresh and that caterpillars are still active before you treat. Keep these insecticides well away from butterfly garden areas because they are also toxic to butterfly caterpillars.
Continue to deadhead annual bedding plants by removing old faded flower blooms before they go to seed. This will encourage the production of more buds for extended flowering. Some gardeners will actually deadhead individual flower heads on crape myrtles as they fade, thus promoting more vegetative growth and more blooming. However, if you’ve got crape myrtles that are tall then it’s not practical.
Delay any type of weed control on your home lawn that would require the application of an herbicide. Be very cautious of applications at this time of the year. We often see turf injury from herbicide applications, especially when daytime temperatures climb into the 90’s.
Fig trees can be sprayed as soon as production ends to prevent a fungal disease called Fig Leaf Rust. Use Bordeaux mixture according to label directions and make sure to thoroughly cover the underside of leaves. Symptoms of fig leaf rust appear as brown spots covering the leaves, which can cause the leaves to die and fall off the tree.
The last application of fertilizer to your lawn should be made this month. Fertilizing lawns with a high nitrogen fertilizer past August could interfere with grass hardening to deal with cold temperatures. It may also promote brown patch disease especially in St Augustine grass.
Hope you’ll find these garden tips helpful and happy gardening!!!