Green Tips for the Month of August

Fall annual color including zinnias, marigolds, celosia and others from 4-inch pots.  Buy plants that are in bud but not yet in bloom, for best results.

Fall perennials from 6- or 8- inch and 1-gallon pots, including fall asters, mums, Mexican bush sage and others.

Tomatoes into large nursery pots (10-gallon is best).  It is too late in northern part of state to plant tomatoes into the garden, but containers can be moved to protect plants from early freezes.

Vegetable seeds (early in month in North Texas, mid- to late month in South Texas), including beans, squash, cucumbers, corn.  Later (mid-month in North Texas and late in month in South Texas) plant broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts.  Leaf and root vegetables follow by two weeks.

Fall bulbs including spider lilies, fall crocus, oxblood lilies, belladonna lilies, rain lilies and others.

New lawns from sod, seed, plugs or by hydro mulching.  Water twice daily until well established.

Nursery stock, including crape myrtles in bloom.  Hand-water several times weekly until fall.

Bluebonnets from scarified seeds, other spring wildflowers, late in month, into rototilled, grass-free beds.

Continuous-blooming bush roses by one-third to promote fall flower production.

Crape myrtles to remove seedheads early in month.  You may get one more burst of blooms.

Tidy perennial plantings by removing dying foliage, old flower and seed stalks.

Sharpen lawn mower blade after every 20-30 hours of use.  Watch for frayed leaf blades.  Continue mowing on 4- or 5-day intervals into early fall.

Pinch or trim lanky annuals to promote robust and more compact fall growth, including coleus, copper plants, firebush, Joseph's coat, impatiens, geraniums, begonias.

Roses with rose food to promote vigorous growth, bud set for fall.

Container gardens with timed-release capsules, also water-soluble plant food regularly.  Frequent watering will leach nutrients out of lightweight potting mixes.

Annuals, fall-flowering perennials with high-nitrogen, lawn-type fertilizer to keep plants growing vigorously.

Turf, if it's been more than 8 weeks since your last feeding, with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer.

To correct yellowed foliage of iron-deficient plants, apply an iron additive that also contains sulfur.  Iron becomes insoluble in alkaline soils in western two-thirds of Texas (near and west of I-35).  Keep iron products off concrete (staining).

Hickory shuckworms, pecan weevils on pecans.  Treat with registered insecticide early and again late in month.

Leafrollers in cannas, trailing vinca and others.  Time application of systemic insecticide prior to damage.

Aphids cause tiny sticky honeydew droplets from red oaks, pecans, crape myrtles and others.  Black sooty mold than develops in the honeydew residue.  Control aphids with general-purpose insecticide applied at first signs.

Grub worms devour roots of grass, leaving it dead and lifeless on soil.  If you have had damage in recent years or if grubs are detected, young grubs can be stopped now, before damage is done, with labeled insecticide.  Water deeply after treatment.

Peach tree borers infest peach, plum, cherry and apricot trees near ground line.  Protect with borer-preventive spray to trunks last week of month.

Chinch bugs attack ST. Augustine in hot, sunny parts of lawn.  Small black insects can be seen at interface of healthy and drying grass.  Use registered turf insecticide.

Grasshoppers and crickets in turf, landscape beds.  Treat with general-purpose insecticide applied from hose-end sprayer in downward sweeping motion.

Cotton root rot results in sudden death of many types of plants, but only in alkaline soils.  Replace with resistant species.  There is no chemical control.