What a difference some rain makes! And how many weeks it was raining. It is impossible to catch them all when it rains so fast and so heavily. But such significant rainfall events are an incentive to remove some rain barrels when they dry up again. Consider including a rainwater harvesting system in your area – whether it is a small rain barrel or several large tanks, each small difference will make a difference in both water conservation and plant health. Visit https://rainwaterharvesting.tamu.edu/ for more information.
Now that September is approaching, it’s time to add pre-emergency implementation to the to-do list. Pre-emergence is a type of weed killer that kills seedlings when they grow and must be applied before they arrive. It does not control existing weeds or annual weeds, it is very effective for annual weeds that only return from seed every year. Wait several days for the soil temperature to cool to 70 degrees for several days before pruning, which usually occurs in late September or early October. Visit https://tomgreen.agrilife.org/horticulture/ for more in-depth instructions on applying antimicrobials to lawns and click on “Pre-emergence pesticides.” Read the label carefully and follow all directions for product size and application instructions.
If you have St. Augustine grass, fall is a good time to take precautionary measures against all chronic diseases. Sprinkle grass with one to two bushels of spaghetti peas per thousand square feet, apply antifungal drugs such as azoocystrobin (Scott Disex X) and fertilize with manganese and iron. It is especially important if there is a history of this disease, but even if the grass is not infected, only the pet-mousse action is useful. This is done twice a year in the spring and fall, to prevent damage to large parts of the lawn.
It may also be time to plant wildflower seeds, such as blueberries, so plan ahead and do not apply them in advance (or other seeds, such as other vegetables or grasses). Wildflowers need spring rains to start, so have them sown once between September and November.
Monarch butterflies fly through this area, returning south to Mexico. Add some nectar to help them along their long journey, such as Lantana, Salvia, Butterfly Shrubs and Blue Mushrooms.
This year’s fall is a busy time with a variety of educational opportunities. To stay up-to-date on the latest events, subscribe to https://tomgreen.agrilife.org/horticulture/ for the “Concho Valley Garden Update” monthly newsletter. The main gardeners will hold their landscape symposium on September 11, pre-registration required – don’t miss it!
Allison Watkins is a member of the Texas A&M Agrillif Extension for Fruit and Vegetables in Tom Green County. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.