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Dallas Morning News - June 3, 2021

June Gardening Chores


Cool spring indeed, so some gardening chore times have been altered a bit. The ground is finally warm enough to plant caladium bulbs for example.


It's also finally time to plant the warm-season grasses, Bermuda, buffalo and other native grasses by seed. Summer annual color can go in now as we discussed in last week’s column. It's also time for the warm season food crops: okra, southern peas, sweet potatoes, Malabar spinach, pumpkins, squash, etc. All trees, shrubs, vines and perennials can be planted now.


Apply whole ground cornmeal for brown patch, take all patch and other turf diseases


Avoid all synthetic fertilizers as usual, especially nitrogen-only products and "weed and feed" chemical mixes, but it is time for the second organic fertilization of the year. Use about twenty pounds of fertilizer per thousand square feet. To give plants an extra boost, add some fish, alfalfa or corn gluten meal. Spray all plantings with Garrett Juice every two weeks or at least once a month. Apply the Sick Tree Treatment to any ailing trees and other woody plants.


Prune erratic shoots from abelia, elaeagnus, lady banks roses, etc. Remove spent blooms and prune flowering plants by one-third that have started to decline. Don’t wait until they have completely stopped blooming. Remove fruiting canes from blackberries after fruit harvest. Prune new canes to three feet in height to encourage side branching. Prune dead and damaged wood from trees and shrubs as needed.


Soil temperature is now warm enough for planting caladiums


Water all planting areas deeply, but infrequently during dry periods. As the temperature climbs, daily watering is needed for some of the container plants. Add an ounce per gallon of apple cider vinegar or the whole Garrett Juice mixture at least once a month.


For pest control, treat when needed, not on a preventive basis to avoid needlessly killing beneficial insects and microbes. For yellow lower leaves on tomatoes, spray garlic, cornmeal juice or Garrett Juice mixed 50/50 with hydrogen peroxide. Use liquid seaweed spray for actual spider mite infestation.


For fleas, ticks and chiggers, dust lightly with sulfur in dry weather and release beneficial nematodes anytime. For brown patch and other turf diseases, reduce fertilizer use and treat with corn meal.


Use the Sick Tree Treatment for serious shrub and tree problems


For oak wilt, scale infestation, sapsucker and other animal damage, mistletoe invasion, chlorosis, canopy die back, heavy gall growth and other serious maladies, apply the Sick Tree Treatment, explained in detail under GUIDES on the home page of Also see the brand new video class showing and explaining the Sick Tree Treatment being performed on one of my live oaks. The class can also be found on the home page. The small cost helps support the Texas Organic Research Center.


Hand remove problem weeds and work on improving soil health. Spot spray weeds with vinegar products. Mow weekly and leave clippings on the lawn. Mulch all bare soil with shredded native trimmings but do not pile mulch on trunks and stems of plants.





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