Garden Checklist for September 2012
Ornamental pomegranate with young stinkbugs
Gardener's Revenge: Young stinkbugs
after spraying with household flying insect killer
- Keep a good lookout for pests at this time. As old vegetables, bean vines, etc. are pulled up and discarded in the compost heap, insects such as stink bugs and leaf footed bugs will disperse to linger on nearby plants.
- Now is the time to fertilize clumps of established warm-weather, small-flowered narcissus such as 'Grand Primo' or 'Earlicheer'. They will send out fresh roots first, then the foliage will appear.
- Rejuvenate heat-stressed geraniums and begonias for the fall season by lightly pruning, fertilizing, and watering.
- Break off healthy shoots of such annuals as coleus, ornamental chartreuse or maroon sweet potatoes or geraniums (pelargoniums) and pot them to provide new plants to carry through the winter in the greenhouse or enclosed porch area.
- Don't allow plants with green fruit or berries to suffer from lack of moisture. Hollies will frequently drop their fruit under drought conditions.
- Prune out dead or diseased wood from trees and shrubs. Hold off on major pruning until midwinter. Pruning now may stimulate tender growth prior to frost.
- Divide spring-flowering perennials such as irises, Shasta daisies, gaillardias, cannas, day lilies, violets, liriope, and ajuga. Reset divisions into well prepared soil with generous amounts of organic material worked into the top 8 to 10 inches.
- Prepare the beds for spring-flowering bulbs as soon as possible. It is important to cultivate the soil and add generous amounts of organic matter to improve the water drainage. Bulbs will rot without proper drainage.
- Plantings at this time can provide landscape color for three seasons in central, east, and south Texas. Annuals set out early enough will bloom as soon as Thanksgiving, and frequently last until Memorial Day. Annuals that should soon be available in nurseries and garden shops include petunias, calendulas, pansies, snapdragons, stock, sweet peas, and violas (from seed).
- Continue a disease-spray schedule on roses, as blackspot and mildew can be extremely damaging in September and October. Funginex, used every 7 to 14 days, will usually give excellent control.
- Christmas cactus can be made to flower by supplying 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness and cool nights (55 degrees F.) for a month, starting in mid-October. Keep plants on the dry side for a month prior to treatment.
- Replenish mulches around trees and shrubs, and water every 3 to 5 days.
- Start cool-season vegetables, such as mustard, lettuce, arugula, broccoli, carrots, and turnips, from seed in well prepared beds.
- Harvest okra, peppers, squash, and other vegetables often to encourage production.