Insects are active this time of year, so you need to create your “most wanted” list of pests to look out for and manage, if necessary. Check your lawns and gardens at least weekly for mole crickets, chinch bugs, sod-web worms, azalea caterpillars, white flies, and more.
In addition to any pesticides you require, you’ll want to use nutritional sprays to keep your plants as healthy as possible. These sprays are as important as regular fertilizers because zinc and manganese are not very effective when they’re applied through the soil. The leaves, on the other hand, can easily take in these nutrients important to your plants’ health.
Now is also the time to plan ahead and begin planting fall vegetable gardens. Clean the garden site, then add compost, manure or peat moss to hold moisture and fertilizer until the plants can use it.
Other gardening to-do items for August:
• Plant and replant lawns. Check out our Palmetto grass plugs.
• Continue to feed and spray roses. Thrips are usually a problem on light-colored roses now. You can control them with Malathion or Acephate.
• Watch for fungus and treat as necessary.
• Feed azaleas and camellias with a good quality acid fertilizer. If you bring in a soil sample, we’ll check it for free. A soil pH of 4.5 to 5.5 is needed for azaleas, camellias, ixoras, and gardenias. Water them well and keep them properly mulched.
• Give your poinsettias that last pruning before September 1.
column by WILLIAM “BILL” DOTY
BIO: William R. “Bill” Doty is owner of Doty Farm and Garden Supply Inc., founded in Winter Haven in 1954. Bill graduated from Winter Haven High School and Florida State University. Growing up, he learned valuable lessons in listening and asking questions and was a student of the family business. Bill shares his knowledge with his customers daily and with our readers monthly.