- Tropical annuals such as Esperanza (Yellow Bells) and hibiscus
- Heat tolerant annuals such as purslane, portulaca, penta and trailing lantana
- Add new or replacement turf grass – be sure to water frequently for the first two weeks until the roots establish.
- Add mulch around, but not touching, your landscape and garden plants to help conserve moisture as the summer heat returns to North Texas.
- Crape Myrtles: select ones in bloom to identify the exact flower color.
- Summer Squash
- Mow St. Augustine 2 to 2 1/2”, common Bermuda at 1-1/4 to 1 1/2”. Best mowing height for Hybrid Bermuda and zoysia varies depending on variety. Buffalograss should be mowed to 3 to 3 1/2”. Mow frequently to keep grass low and spreading. Use a mulching mower to feed the soil rather than bagging grass and sending it to a landfill. See more mowing information.
- Deadhead – remove spent blooms — from flowering plants to encourage future blooms. For roses, make cuts down to the first or second, five leaf set. Cut at an angle away from and slightly above the leaf set node. Marigolds, zinnias and geraniums can also be deadheaded.
- Prune tree and shrub branches that are tending down because of the weight of leaves or flowers. Remove errant branches from spring growth of shrubs.
- Pinch the growing tips of coleus, copper plants or fall asters, if they are becoming leggy.
- Avoid drastically cutting trees and shrubs until the weather cools off in the fall.
- Apply fertilizer to lawns, landscapes and gardens. Use a 4-1-2 ratio fertilizer unless your North Texas soil contains heavy amounts of clay. Soil analysis shows that these soils tend to remain high in phosphorous, which leaches more slowly from the soil than nitrogen. For highly clay soils, choose an all nitrogen fertilizer. Water the areas after applying fertilizer.
- Add iron sulfate to replace lost iron on turf grass. If you have alkaline soil, add iron-containing products such as Iron Plus or Green Sand. Because soil calcium may keep iron from being available to landscape plants, add one cup of iron sulfate to a bushel of mulch and allow natural decomposition of the mulch to make the iron available to the plants.
- Early blight on tomatoes. Early blight manifests as yellow blotches on lower leaves, which eventually turn brown and die. Pruning lower leaves off the ground may help. Alternatively, treat with fungicide.
- Spider mites come with hot weather. Red spider mites can be barely seen with the naked eye, but appear clearly using a 5X hand magnifier. Alternative, shake a suspect leaf over a piece of white paper and see if little dots appear and move. They also make visible webbing on the underside of the leaf. If the mites are very small, translucent, and appear to have two dark spots on their backs, you probably have two spotted mites, which can be harder to treat. Badly infested plants have yellow and red mottling of the lower leaves. Blast off mites with water spray or apply an insecticidal soap.
- Stinkbugs on your tomatoes. They feed by sucking out the plant juices, leaving a white, corky area under the skin. Treat with Pyrethroids at the first sign or knock them off the plant and step on them.
- Chinch bugs on St. Augustine grass.
For photos of various insect pests and a listing of control measures, see: Aggie Horticulture on Integrated Pest Management.
|Thanks to Neil Sperry for information from his “Texas Gardening Calendar” and the “Texas Gardener Magazine” magazine. Other sources that helped provide ideas or content include PLANTAnswers Garden Calendar, “Texas Garden Almanac” by Doug Welsh and “Texas Gardener’s Resource” by Dale Groom and Dan Gill.