Thursday, August 29, 2013

Somethings to do in Late August

For the new readers of the Horticulture Hotline, my To Do Lists are designed to help you target a few activities in your yard and in your home that will benefit you in the future.  These lists are not designed to interfere with high school, college, or professional football games, sunset boating, shopping, shrimping, fishing, hunting, golfing, eating chicken wings at a local sports bar, oyster roasts, collecting oysters or clams from the local waters, or watching NASCAR on the couch with closed eyes!  This is not designed to be a “honey do” list.

Apply a preemergent herbicide to your lawn and beds NOW. Get the weeds before they germinate. Why wait? “Get er done!” Stop the weeds now and you will have more time for the activities in the first paragraph.

Planning to transplant plants in the fall? Begin root pruning now. Go out 12 inches for every inch in diameter of the tree and push the shovel straight down. Do not pry with the shovel, just severe the roots. Root pruning now will help the survival rate of the plant when you do decide to move it.

Look out for moths flying around and sod webworms munching on your grass. The fall is when these little chow hounds show up. 2012 was the worst breakout I have ever seen, so you are probably familiar with the little beast. The moths fly in a zig zag pattern across the lawn laying eggs. The worm (larva) emerges from the egg and eats up the grass. The damage looks like someone mowed the lawn very low with dull blades at a slow speed. You can see their bite marks on the grass blades.


Many of you will be changing out annual color or your vegetable garden in the next few weeks. While the beds are empty, you have to chance to amend your soil for better flower and vegetable production and address any drainage problems. If the bed stays wet, this is a good time to raise it with the addition of soil or amendments (Turface, Mule Mix). You can also crown the bed so it drains off to the sides.

Back To Natures’ Flower Bed Amendment has proven to do a superb job in our Lowcountry soils. The special blend of composted cotton burrs, composted cattle manure, feather meal, cottonseed meal, and alfalfa meal has the best of gardeners coming back for more. Alfalfa contains Triacantanol, a natural growth enhancer, and is high in organic Nitrogen to get your plants growing. Flower Bed amendment may also help in the suppression and control of certain fungal diseases.

Here is what Dr. Herman Daniell had to say about his experience with the product, “The cotton burr flower bed mulch with amendments has been a superior product for my rose garden. I have had healthier bushes with more blooms since I began using this product.”

Many of you will also be changing out containers, hanging baskets and potted plants. If your plants are in an exposed place requiring daily watering, consider adding Soil Moist, Hydrostretch or other water holding gels to your soil. These gels and the use of a wetting agent can make your life much easier. If you go away for the weekend, your plants will hardly miss you.