Prune Tropical Hibiscus you plan to bring indoors for the winter. Plan to place your plant in the sunniest window during the winter months. Trim back enough to fit your location indoors and bring your Hibiscus inside around December or before first frost. After pruning check your Hibiscus for insects and spray with appropriate insecticide. Now is a good time to fertilize your Hibiscus. Hibiscuses are heavy feeders and should be fertilized monthly.
Remove faded blooms and seedpods on your Crepe Myrtles. You may be rewarded with more blooms before first frost. The recommended fertilizer formulation for Crepe Myrtles is 10-15-9 or a similar combination. Don’t forget to fertilize your Crepe Myrtles.
Roses prune out dead canes, and weak, bushy growth. Cut back tall, vigorous bushes by 1/3 the original plant height. Fertilize roses on a monthly basis until October. After pruning you should see new blooms coming in about 6 weeks.
Azaleas Lace bugs on your Azaleas increase rapidly in summer. Check your Azaleas for insects. The damaged caused by these sucking insects looks like tiny white dots and the entire leaf is almost completely white. Spray with appropriate insecticide labeled for Azalea Lace Bugs.
Lawns check your grass for insects, especially for chinch bugs and white grubs. These insects are most active in the summer months. The signs for chinch bugs are irregular circles, and the grass is thin, and then dies. For white grubs, the signs are irregular circles, and the grass is loosely rooted. Check the soil underneath the loosely rooted grass by digging up the soil, the grubs should be about an inch down in the soil, if you have them. Apply the appropriate insecticide and follow the package directions carefully.
Lawn Mower Blades should be sharpened once each summer. A sharpened lawn mower blade prevents shredding the grass, and giving your lawn a nice, clean cut.
Mulch check all shrub beds and trees for mulch thickness. We are experiencing extreme heat this summer and shrubs and trees that have 2 to 3 inches of mulch keeps the roots cool and helps the soil retain moisture.
Fruits and Vegetables Start planning your fall vegetable garden this August. Till the soil and add Gypsum and Composted Cottonseed hull. The additives lowers the alkalinity and helps the soil stay loose. Tomatoes, Peppers, and Beans should planted by August 1st. Starter plants usually are available by August 15th. Pick the varieties of tomatoes that mature in 65-70 days. Cool season vegetables, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, swiss chard, collards, kale, and snow peas are planted in September. Blackberry and Raspberry plants at this time of year have a tendency to trail along the ground. Take the trailing canes or runners and tie them back to their arbor. For more information on planting fall vegetables click to read my blog post Here.
Seeds sow cool season seeds of snapdragons, dianthus, pansies, calendulas, and sweet alyssum to be planted in mid to late fall. Sow seeds of bluebonnets and other Georgia spring wildflowers this month to be planted in the garden. The wildflowers will establish a root system during the fall for spring blooms.
Tropical Foliage Plants Check plants that are spending the summer outdoors for insects. Use an insecticidal soap, if needed. Your houseplants can be fertilized biweekly with a water soluble plant food. Hibiscus and More has a wonderful selection of houseplants.
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Cheryl Ann Meola
Certified Texas Nursery Professional #1282