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Dallas Morning News - July 29, 2021

August Gardening Calendar


There's still time to plant portulaca, purslane, marigold, zinnia, copper canyon daisy, caladiums and ornamental grasses for immediate color. Many great types of salvia are available. Use spider lilies, fall crocus, fall amaryllis, mums and asters for later flowers.


Plant fall vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, cabbage, kale, radishes, turnips, carrots and green onions.


Encourage biodiversity to help with pest control


Plant buffalo and Bermuda grasses by seed or sod. Plant St. Augustine and zoysia by solid sod. Use horseherb, liriope, ophiopogon, Persian Ivy and other ground covers in shady areas where turf is struggling. Wildflowers seeds are better planted now than in the fall.


Prune declining flowering plants to encourage more blooms. It’s an excellent time to prune trees and shrubs since they can heal and start growing better in the summer than in fall or winter. No flush cuts or pruning paints please.


Organically maintained gardens have relatively few pest problems


Foliar feed all planting with Garrett Juice or compost tea. Also drench the soil of any new or struggling plants. Apply the Sick Tree treatment to any stressed woody plants.


Water deeply and as infrequently as possible. Your garden and landscape will usually need more the most water this month. Potted plants and hanging baskets need water daily. Lava sand broadcast freely will greatly help hold moisture and reduce watering needs.


The best pest control results from planting adapted plants, maintaining healthy soil and avoiding high nitrogen fertilizers and toxic chemical pesticides. This simple approach protects the beneficial microbes and insects so that destructive pests are rare.


Treat damaging caterpillars wit bt or spinosad products - not toxic chemicals


For the few pests that do show up, first spray with non-killing repellents such as garlic and garlic pepper tea. If that doesn’t stop them all, move to the lowest toxicity "killing" organic pesticides such as orange oil, spinosad and quality neem products. Add an ounce of liquid molasses to any of the liquid products per gallon to make them more effective and last longer.


Apply beneficial nematodes for grubworms and other soil pests. Spray orange oil for chinch bugs. Do not use pyrethrum products for these or any other pests. Apply dry molasses to the entire site for fire ants. Spray Bt or spinosad products for any caterpillars chewing foliage.


Spot spray noxious weeds with 20% vinegar with 1 ounce of liquid molasses mixed in


Whole ground cornmeal applications stop all the lawn fungal diseases – brown patch, grey leaf spot, take all patch, etc. Use at about 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. Hydrogen peroxide can help with various diseases and control algae in ponds and water features. See the specifics in the library at


Garlic, cedar oil, liquid Bti and oil of eucalyptus products sprayed in an alternating sequence give the best control of mosquitoes.


Mow weekly and leave clippings on the lawn. Spray noxious weeds with 20% vinegar with one ounce of molasses added per gallon. Carefully spot spray in beds and turf. This also works to control suckers from the bases of trees and other woody plants.





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