August 2011 Gardening Calendar
This is a once-a-month column provided to Wilson County News reader online.
And the drought keeps marching on! Water is at a premium and you are probably in a community with drought restrictions in place. Most restrictions are established to reduce water use but they still allow you to keep your lawn and plants alive.
Supplement the limited sprinkler time with hand watering of especially dry spots. Water newly planted (last 2 or 3 years) at the base because the root system is limited. Most established shrubs and trees are surviving fine. If you have any showing wilting or leaf drop, water them at the drip line.
Leaky hoses are as good as drip irrigation at putting water at the soil line. String out one or two for hedges near the house and flower beds if they need supplementary irrigation. For best results keep the water pressure low so the water is sweated out. One half turn of the spigot is usually sufficient.
There is also a new hand watering product to consider. It is called a Hover. It operates like a water wand but the water is emitted through holes in a line from a plastic tube four feet long. The configuration is convenient for applying water along edges or with uniformity to the lawn. Obtain the product from your favorite local nursery or visit the website www.hoversprinkler.com.
In the vegetable garden the okra needs to be planted early in the month. Transplants would be better than seeds if the nurseries have any left. If you wait beyond the first of the month okra will not have time to yield before cold weather arrives.
It is also time to plant tomatoes for the fall. Look for the heirloom varieties Surefire, Heatwave, and Merced, along with hybrids 444, Solarfire, Sunpride and Celebrity. Last fall many plants were destroyed by this yellow wilt virus. Tycoon is a heat setter and the only selection resistant to the virus. The first widespread use of Tycoon occurred this spring. The first was large, sweet and tough skinned. Tycoon was the dominant tomato at the Milbergers/Garden South Texas top tomato contest in 2011.
Peppers that declined in the heat may perk up some in August if the temps moderate. If not, keep them watered and expect more production in September and October.
There is still time to plant zinnias, marigolds, vinca, moss roses, and pursalane for full sun annual color. In the shade pentas are the best choice. For perennial color Mexican bush sage, firebush, esperanza, poinciana, and lantana will still do a good job in the sun. Use shrimp plant and/or Turk’s cap in the shade.
Watch for webworms in fruit trees and pecans. They are easy to pull the webs out in lower trees but more difficult in tall trees. A cane pole helps but be careful around utility lines. Webworms will reduce nut yield. If the webs can be destroyed the caterpillars become easy picking for predatory wasps and, more effectively, the sun.
It is very difficult to spray an insecticide high into a large pecan tree. Bt products work if you apply it to the leaves around the web.
Aphid honeydew is also an issue. The sticky sugary sap is the excrement from the sucking insects. In severe cases it drips on cars, sidewalks, and lawn chairs and it coats the leaves to serve as food for sooty mold. This is a situation where control is best achieved letting the predatory insects to their job. An insecticide will kill aphids if you can spray it into the tree but unless you can spray regularly, the aphids reproduce quickly and are back in place within a few weeks.
Pawnee pecans seem to be resistant to aphids. They also make a nice shade tree and produce an early small but consistently good papershell nut.
Calvin R. Finch, PhD, is a SAWS Director and Horticulturis.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post comments:
Other Agriculture Today
| 30th annual All Breed Bull, Female Sale set... (January 21, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (January 21, 2015)
Hill Country District show continues (January 21, 2015)
Identify this mystery plant — week 2 (January 21, 2015)
La Vernia stock show news (January 21, 2015)
Livestock market reports (January 21, 2015)
Mineral rights workshop is Jan. 28 (January 21, 2015)
Speed up decomposing process (January 21, 2015)
TDA Market Report (January 21, 2015)
Wilson County Junior Livestock Show (January 21, 2015)
Wilson County show under way (January 21, 2015)
Ag Conference Jan. 28 (January 14, 2015)
Atascosa County show continues (January 14, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (January 14, 2015)
How do cemetery, Dutch iris differ? (January 14, 2015)
Karnes County Youth Show is Jan. 15-17 (January 14, 2015)
Kickin’ off 2015 stock-show season (January 14, 2015)
Livestock market reports (January 14, 2015)
Program builds foundation for youth (January 14, 2015)
TDA Market Report (January 14, 2015)
TSCRA prepares for legislative session (January 14, 2015)
Wilson County horse show Jan. 17 (January 14, 2015)
2014 A banner year for area youth (January 7, 2015)
Bermuda best seeded after April (January 7, 2015)
Cattleman Bull & Female Sale is Jan. 24 (January 7, 2015)
Fearless ag predictions for 2015 (January 7, 2015)
Fever tick update in South Texas (January 7, 2015)
Tractor Supply, 4-H Council raise $763K (January 7, 2015)
January 2015 Gardening Calendar (January 1, 2015)