Organic Matters

The Online Newsletter from Rohde’s Nursery and Nature Store and Green Sense Fertilizers

Rohde’s August 2017 Organic Gardening Calendar

  1. PREFACE
  2. VEGETABLES, HERBS & ANNUAL FRUITS
  3. FLOWERS & ORNAMENTAL GRASSES
  4. TREES, SHRUBS, & VINES
  5. LAWN, TURF GRASSES & GROUND COVERS
  6. OTHER_THINGS_TO_DO_THIS_MONTH

We are in USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 8a with an annual minimum temperature of 15 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit,
and in Texas AgriLife Extension Service District 4 (East Region) - North (Dallas): http://dallas.tamu.edu/, http://dallas.tamu.edu/district-4-counties/
Our soil is predominantly blackland prairie clay or "Houston Black" officially with areas of sandy Cross Timber soils north, east, and through parts of Ft Worth's Tarrant County.
http://www.soils4teachers.org/files/s4t/k12outreach/tx-state-soil-booklet.pdf

Plant heat zones for Dallas-Ft Worth: The zones give the average number of days a year that an area has over 86 degrees temperatures. The temperature many plants apparently become affected by heat. Click here for more information: http://www.beorganic.com/additional_info/plant_heat_zones.html.

AHS Plant Heat Zone Map; Dallas, Ft Worth, north, west,&  south is zone 9 (120-150 days). Rockwall, north & east is zone 8 (90-120 days).

Plant Maps Interactive Heat Zones Map for Texas; Dallas Ft Worth is also in zones 8 (91-120 days > 86°F ) or zone 9 (121-150 days > 86°F)
Sunset Climate Zones; We are in ZONE 33. North-Central Texas and Oklahoma Eastward to the Appalachian Foothills

NOAA’s Weather Forecast:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.html

EL NIÑO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION (ENSO)

DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION

issued by

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER/NCEP/NWS

and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society

13 July 2017

ENSO Alert System Status:  Not Active

Synopsis: ENSO-neutral is favored (~50 to 55% chance) into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2017-18.

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/fxus05.html

PROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION FOR LONG-LEAD SEASONAL OUTLOOKS

NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD

830 AM EDT THU JUL 20 2017

SUMMARY OF THE OUTLOOK FOR NON-TECHNICAL USERS

The August-September-October (ASO) 2017 temperature outlook indicates increased chances of above-normal temperatures across Alaska and the contiguous U.S., although probabilities are reduced from parts of the southern plains to the central Mississippi valley. The highest probabilities for above-normal temperatures are forecast for parts of the northern Rockies and intermountain west, the gulf coast and Atlantic coasts, the northeast, and western areas of Alaska. The ASO 2017 precipitation outlook indicates an increased chance for above-median precipitation for parts of the southern plains, the southwest, southwestern Alaska, and the Aleutian Islands.

During the autumn and winter 2017-18, the chances of El Nino development are lower compared to last month. Since ENSO-neutral conditions are most likely to persist, the temperature and precipitation outlooks during the cold season are based primarily on dynamical model guidance and decadal trends.

Equal chances (ec) are forecast over areas where probabilities of above-, below-, or near-normal seasonal mean temperatures and seasonal accumulated precipitation amounts are expected to be similar to climatological probabilities.

Here’s pictures to explain the when, where, and how much of a change in temperature and precipitation we should get with this forecast through the fall and winter. It’s easier than trying to read the NOAA reports referenced in the links.

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/

/products/predictions/long_range/lead01/off01_temp.gif

/products/predictions/long_range/lead03/off03_temp.gif

/products/predictions/long_range/lead05/off05_temp.gif

August-September-October

October-November-December

December-January-February

 

/products/predictions/long_range/lead01/off01_prcp.gif

/products/predictions/long_range/lead03/off03_prcp.gif

/products/predictions/long_range/lead05/off05_prcp.gif

August-September-October

October-November-December

December-January-February

 

PREFACE

If you are vegetable gardening, then it’s time to plant most everything else that wasn’t recommended to plant in July. It’s the last month to lay warm season sod or sow grass seeds for your yard to get them established before winter. While we don’t carry sod, we usually have Fescue and Bermuda seed. Call to check on supply. August is also the month to start planting fall blooming flowers. You can sow spring flowering wildflower seeds, but September will be cooler and hopefully wetter to ease establishment. We will start receiving new plants at the end of August and in September after the temperatures break. Right now, we still have some good plants for purchase, but variety is low. During this heat, we are just keeping the current inventory alive.

Be thinking of what you were planning to do this winter. Many people do their major landscaping jobs then. The forecasted warm and wet forecast should give a nice winter to work in for improving your landscape. Call Rohde’s if you need help. We are experienced in most anything you need in your yard including tree and shrub planting and maintenance, bed work, hardscaping as in fencing, stone, concrete patios, walkways, and much more.
See http://www.beorganic.com/additional_info/Rohdes_Services_We_Offer.htm for a copy of a brochure we made listing work we have done and photos of some of the jobs we have completed.

VEGETABLES, HERBS & ANNUAL FRUITS

If you’re not planting a fall garden or letting the spring garden go on, don’t leave the beds baron. Leaving the mulch on the beds is ok, but a cover crop would be better. We usually have some small seed packs of summer cover crops like black eyed pea or buckwheat. We will also carry winter cover crop seed of Elbon rye, Crimson clove, and Hairy Vetch that you start to sow in September.

Fall garden planting dates are based on how long it takes the vegetable to reach harvest, versus the time to the first average freeze date, and the temperature needed to set fruit. Some vegetables need cooler weather to set fruit like tomatoes.

With these planting recommendations below, if not mentioned, you are better off planting seeds earlier in the planting period and transplants in the later part. For warm season vegetables, use the transplants you started from seeds in July. The cool season fall transplants will not be available until September – October when the temperature breaks.

Watering is critical now. Most veggies need a more consistent moisture level to perform even adequately. Check for watering each day. Seriously consider laying out a drip irrigation system in your garden. This complies with most watering restrictions.
See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh-VcwS3qus for a 2 part video of a local Dallas Men’s Gardening Club (?) member, John Walls’ method of growing “Tons of Tomatoes” and the simple irrigation system he used. (John has passed away a few years ago I am told). I think his granddaughter was doing a PBS gardening show for the San Antonio’s station.

When you go out to check for watering, look for new bug and disease problems. It’s easier to deal with problems early. Rohde’s carries something for most everything you may need to deal with.

Spray liquid fertilizers every week or two, like Green Sense Fish Emulsion, GS Fish and Kelp, Aunt Rohde’s Compost Tea, or GS Foliar Juice. Add GS Garlic Extract to help repeal bugs and help control fungal problems. Use GS Lawn and Garden pelletized fertilizer to water-in, or one of our other powdered fertilizers to side-dress or to mixed into the soil, once a month in your garden.

The following are normally planted in August (or later). Dates are for seeds unless specified: S=Seed, T=Transplants.

Vegetable

Soil Temperatures

Fall Planting
Dates

Min

Optimum
Range

Max

Artichoke (Globe) (Cynara scolymus)

25, 45

>50, 70-80

>85 dormant

Aug 1 (S)
Oct 1 (T)

Beans, Lima Bush (Phaseolus limensis var. limenanus)

60

65-85

85

Jul 26 - Aug 31

Beans, Lima Pole (Phaseolus limensis)

60

65-85

85

Aug 15 - Sep 20

Beans, Pinto (Phaseolus vulgaris)

60

60-85

95

Aug 1 - Sep 20

Beans, Snap Bush (Phaseolus vulgaris var. humilis)

55-60

60-85

95

Aug 1 - Sep 20

Beans, Snap Pole (Phaseolus vulgaris)

55-60

60-85

95

Jul 26 - Aug 31

Beans, Yellow Bush (Phaseolus vulgaris var. humilis)

60

60-85

95

Aug 1 - Sep 20

Beets (Beta vulgaris)

40-45

50-85

95

Sep 6 - Sep 30

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis), plants

40

45-85

90

Jul 26 - Sep 6 (S)
Aug 20 - Sep 15 (T)

Brussels Sprouts (Brassica oleracea)

40

68-75

85

Aug 9 - Sep 6 (S)
Aug 20 - Sep 15 (T)

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata), plants

40-50

45-95

100

Jul 26 - Sep 6 (S)
Aug 20 - Sep 15 (T)

Cabbage, Chinese (Brassica pekinensis)

50

50-80

100

Aug 9 - Aug 23 (S)
Aug 23 - Sep 15 (T)

Cantaloupe Muskmelon (Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis)

60-70

75-95

95-100

Jun15 - Aug 9

Carrot (Daucus carota var. sativus)

40-50

45-85

90-95

Aug 9 - Sep

Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis), plants

40

45-85

90-100

Jul 26 - Sep 6 (S)
Aug 20 - Sep 15 (T)

Celeriac (Apium graveolens var. Rapaceum) Grown like celery

40

70-75

85

Mid, Late Summer(T)

Celery (Apium graveolens var. dulce)

40

60-70

85

Mid, Late Summer(T)

Chard, Swiss (Beta vulgaris var. cicla)

40

50-85

95-100

Jul 26 - Sep 15

Collards (Brassica oleracea var. acephala)

40-50

60-70

85

Aug 23 - Sep 20

Corn, Sweet (Zea mays var. saccharata)

50-65

60-95

100-105

Aug 1 - Aug 23

Cucumber, Pickling (Cucumis sativus)

60-65

60-95

90-105

Aug 1 - Sep 6

Cucumber, Slicing (Cucumis sativus)

60-65

60-95

90-105

Aug 1 - Sep 6

Eggplant (Solanum melongena var. esculentum)

60-65

75-90

90-95

Jun 15 - Jul 1 (S)
Jul 1 - Aug 23 (T)

Garlic (Allium sativum)

 

<65

85

Sep 15 - Oct 18

Tyfon Or Holland Greens (hybrid of Chinese cabbage x stubble turnip)

 

 

 

Aug 25 - Oct 1

Kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala)

40-50

70-75

90-100

Aug 15 - Oct 15

Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes)

40-50

70-75

90

Jul 26 - Aug 23

Leeks (Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum ), seeds

40

60-70

90

Sep 10 - Oct 1 (S)
Oct 1 - Nov 1 (T)

Lettuce, Butterhead (Lactuca sativa)

35-40

40-80

85

Aug 9 - Oct 15

Lettuce, Cos or Romaine (Lactuca sativa)

35-40

40-80

70-85

Aug 9 - Oct 15

Lettuce, Head (Lactuca sativa)

35-40

40-80

85

Aug 9 - Oct 15

Lettuce, Leaf (Lactuca sativa)

35-40

40-80

70-85

Aug 9 - Oct 15

Mustard (greens) (Brassica juncea)

40

45-85

105

Jul 26 - Sep 6

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)

60-75

70-95

105

Jul 26 - Aug 23

Onion, Bulbing (Allium cepa)
    Seeds/Transplants (Slips) for this year bulbs

35-50

50-95

90-95

Sep 1 - Oct 15 (S)
N.R. (T)

Onion, Bunching [Scallions] (Allium cepa)
    Seeds/Transplants (Sets) for scallions this year

35-50

50-95

90-95

Sep 1 - Oct 15 (S,T)

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

40-50

50-85

90

Jul 26 - Oct 4

Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)

35

50-70

85-90

May - Jun

Peas, English (Pisum sativum)

40

40-75

80-85

Aug 23 - Nov 1

Peas, Southern (Vigna unguiculata var. unguiculata)

>65

>65

 

Jul 1 - Sep 6

Pepper, Hot (Capsicum annuum var. longum)

55-60

65-95

90-95

Jul 1 - Aug 23

Pepper, Bell (Capsicum annuum var. grossum)

55-60

65-95

90-95

Jul 1 - Aug 23

Potato, Irish (Solanum tuberosum), seed

45-50

>40->50

 

Jul 26 - Aug 9

Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo var. pepo)

60

70-90

100

Lrg: Jun 15 - Jul 15
Sml: Jul 15 - Aug 15

Radish (Raphanus sativus)

40

45-90

90-95

Sep 20 - Nov 15

Rutabaga (Brassica napus var. napobrassica)

40

45-85

 

Aug 1 - Oct 15

Salsify (Tragopogon pratensis)

 

 

 

Maybe Sep or Fall

Shallots (Allium cepa var. aggregatum) (like onions)

 

45-95

 

Sep 1 - Oct 15 (S,T)

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

35-40

45-75

85-100

Jul 26 - Nov 1

Spinach, Malabar (Basella alba) vine

 

65-75

90’s

Aug

Spinach, New Zealand (Tetragonia tetragonoides)

 

70-75

 

50 to 70 days to
harvest, so can
plant till Aug 15.

Squash, Summer (Cucurbita pepo var. melopepo)

60

70-95

100-105

Aug 1 - Aug 23

Squash, Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo)

60

70-95

100-105

Aug 1 - Aug 23

Squash, Winter (Cucurbita moschata)

60

70-95

100-105

Jul 1 - Aug 23

Tomatoes, Large-Fruited (Lycopersicon esculentum)

50-60

60-85

95-100

Jul 1 - Aug 23

Tomatoes, Small-Fruited (L. esculentum var. cerasiforme)
& Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa)

50-60

60-85

95-100

Jul 1 - Aug 23

Turnip (Brassica rapa var. rapifera)

40

60-105

100-105

Aug 1 - Nov 1

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)

60-70

70-95

105-110

Jun 15 - Aug 9

See http://www.beorganic.com/additional_info/Rohdes_Planting_Dates,_Spring_Fall.htm for the whole planting charts with explanations of columns, sources, and other information.

Herbs:

You still have time to get a harvest if you plant warm season herbs now.
We will get cool season herbs in toward end of September or October when the weather cools down.
Like most perennials, you can plant perennial herb anytime.

 

FLOWERS & ORNAMENTAL GRASSES

You can still plant warm season annuals. There is enough warm weather left to enjoy them We still have many of the popular and recommended annuals and perennials along with Texas natives, wildflowers, and the unusual, but our inventory is normally low during the heat of summer. Check with us to see what’s on sale.

Wildflowers:

You can plant wildflower transplants almost any time as with most perennials. If you are going to sow seeds, there is minimum soil temperatures needed for germination. If the soil is too cold, the seeds will lie dormant until the soil warms in the spring. In our zone 8a, fall is the best time to sow wildflower seeds or to plant most anything: Last half of September thru November is recommended for wildflowers. You want the soil to be warm enough for the seeds to germinate during a time of reliable rainfall. The roots will grow during the winter to give good flower production in the spring.

You can also sow seeds in the early spring, but you will get less flower development. In zone 8 sow in the last half of January thru February. In zone 7 sow to first half of April. These dates are important for annuals to allow them time to reseed themselves.

The planting beds need to be WELL draining, cleared of vegetation, with no deep cultivation to prevent dormant weed seeds from being brought to the surface, and not fertilized, though incorporating compost into the soil is ok and may be needed to improve drainage.

Broadcast the seeds mixed in 4 parts of a carrier like potting soil, perlite, lava sand, to make it easier to disperse evenly. Do not bury or cover the seeds. Roll or press into the surface by walking on them. You should see some exposed on the surface.

Some wildflowers can take partial shade, but will still need at least 5 hours of sun. Most of the sunny wildflowers will need at least 8 hours of full sun.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/wildseed/tamuhort.html: Wildflowers In Bloom
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/wildseed/info/5.1.html: When Do I Plant?
http://www.plantanswers.com/wildflower_planting_fall.htm: Wildflowers Grown by Direct Seeding in the Fall
http://www.seedsource.com/downloads/NAScatalog_Howtogrownativeseed.pdf:: How to Grow Native Seeds

Ornamental Grasses

Spring is the best time to plant ornamental grasses so they have time to become established for the winter. So plant them quickly this month to give them all the time they can get to become established for the winter. This isn't to say they will not survive a winter if planted later, or even if they are left in pots as our grasses are, but odds do improve. Test for water needs daily.

Other jobs:

Water container plants at least once and maybe twice a day in this heat. This is when you are glad you used our Green Sense “Solid Water” water absorbing polymer crystals in the potting mix to keep the soil moist longer. My hanging pots in the shade last a couple of days in this heat with no problems. Zeolite and Expanded Shale will help with water retention also.

TREES, SHRUBS, & VINES

Planting:

Crape myrtles and desert willows are flowering so now may be a good time to pick out the color you like.

Fall and winter are the best time to plant most trees and shrubs as it should be cooler and rainer. To do so now will require you to monitor the root ball daily for watering. The root ball will dry out before the surrounding soil. Stick a finger or bare stick into the root ball to see if it is dry 2 to 4 inches down depending on size of plant. If so, hand water until the root ball is wet again, maybe 8 inches down. Normal grass irrigation is not enough, so hand water. Check every day until you get a idea on how often you should water.

Choose plants in containers. Smaller container plants can get established quicker as the roots are less disturbed, and grow faster than larger potted or balled & burlap plants too.

Pruning:

Prune storm damaged trees and shrubs and dead parts. Wait for winter when the trees are dormant to do major non-critical, aesthetic pruning. Do tag or mark now what you want to prune in winter.

Some sources say it’s ok to prune Oaks trees that are susceptible to Oak Wilt disease when it is very hot as the insect disease carrier, the Sap Beetle, will not be active. Storm damage will need pruning regardless. It is still very important to paint on Rohde’s Green Sense Tree Goop to the wounds immediately and to insure it stays on for 2 days till the wound’s sap hardens.

Fertilize:

Fertilize your landscape every 3 or 4 months with dry fertilizers. Potted plants, vegetables, and ornamental non-native flowers need fertilizing every month.

Roses

Watch for aphids, spider mites and thrips:
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Aphids_vq758.htm,
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Spider-Mites_vq604.htm
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Thrips-Can-Be-Stopped-Before-Ruining-Roses_vq5322.htm)

Next big pruning will be in the fall, but do clean out dead canes, old canes, and dead flowers to give good air circulation, and reduce pests and disease.

Fertilize monthly. Water carefully in this heat. Roses like a lot of water on a regular bases to do their best, but too much can cause root rot. Water two to four times a week for part of the 1 to 2 inches of water they usually need each week. Take any rain into consideration. You want to get the whole root ball wet with the 1 or 2 inches of water. The root ball is 16 to 18 inches deep, so water an inch and dig down near the roots to see how deep the watering got. Adjust watering for 16-18 inches. Roses should be planted in well drained, deeply conditioned soil so watering may go deeper than in your lawn.

Howard Garrett has an Organic Rose Program you can follow to ensure the best care of your roses. https://www.dirtdoctor.com/garden/Rose-Organic-Program_vq2248.htm.

Be aware of Rose Rosette disease that has been very prevalent the last few years. Here’s some more  recent articles explaining most of what is known, unknown, history, and what is being done:
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/ORN/ph_fructiphilus.htm : Maybe the best article. Read first.
http://www.dallasnews.com/lifestyles/home-and-gardening/headlines/20150218-deadly-virus-is-killing-rosebushes-in-north-texas.ece
https://portal.nifa.usda.gov/web/crisprojectpages/1004350-combatting-rose-rosette-disease-short-and-long-term-approaches.html
https://www.facebook.com/tamuroses
http://www.ballpublishing.com/GrowerTalks/ViewArticle.aspx?articleid=22185
http://whatsupaggiehort.blogspot.com/2016/02/tamu-rose-breeding-genetics-program.html

http://www.rose.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Rose-Rosette.pdf: This article has a picture of the mite.

https://www.dirtdoctor.com/garden/Rose-Rosette-Newsletter_vq3835.htm
https://www.dirtdoctor.com/garden/Rose-Rosette-Update-3215_vq4313.htm
http://www.ccmgatx.org/gardening-resources/videos/rose-rosette-disease.aspx
http://neilsperry.com/notes/2015/03/rose-rosette-disease/

Pests & Disease

Plant oils can help control scale, aphids, and thrips, on trees and shrubs. Spray in the cool of the evening. Oils can harm the plants in the heat of summer so apply dilutions according to instructions and test on a few leaves. Below 85 degrees is normally safe. You can dust with DE now until it cools, but just squirting them off with water or soapy water, may be the best thing to do now. I power-blasted my crape myrtle scale with an adjustable hose nozzle to remove them and didn’t see any bad damage to the branches and twigs. The crape myrtle is only 7 feet high though so I could easily reach the end of the branches.

Leaf miners make translucent trails on the leaves of red oak and other plants. Some leafminers are sawfly maggots. Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt would not work on them. Oak leaf miners are moth caterpillars so Bt or Trichogramma Wasps should control them, but usually are not a big enough problem to worry about anyway.

Fall Webworms:
I’ve seen a few around, but can’t tell how bad they will become. For more info and pictures see:
http://www.beorganic.com/additional_info/Tent_Caterpillars_Fall_Webworms.htm

Leaf Drop:
Some trees will drop leaves in the summer heat and in drought condition. This is normal as the tree conserves water.

Chlorosis:
The heat of summer tends to stress plants and will show iron deficiency called chlorosis, to appear. The leaves will turn yellow with darker green veins The problem is not fully understood, but for whatever reason, the plants can not acquire some of the minerals needed to make chlorophyll. Part of the cause is our high pH clay soil that chemically binds iron and other nutrients needed for photosynthesis. Compacted soils also increase chances for chlorosis, another reason to aerate and top dress your lawn. High soil temperatures in the heat of summer also contribute. Treatments of chelated iron (fastest), iron sulfate (Copperas), or Greensand (slowest release), can correct this deficiency. A high organic content to the soil will lower the pH and be a more permanent solution. This too, is another reason for top dressing along with the aeration. Heavy rains can damage or suffocated plant roots preventing them from taking up the minerals needed to make chlorophyll.

LAWN, TURF GRASSES & GROUND COVERS

Aerate and Top Dress with Compost

We can still aerate and top dress your lawn in August. You will need to water your lawn the inch of water needed for the week, the day before. You can wait till fall when rains return, but the grass will really appreciate the top dressed compost during the heat of summer. The compost will still hold water and nutrients longer than the soil alone. I put a bag of compost down on bad spots in my lawn and the grass that's still growing clearly looks much better, longer, than the dull limp drying grass I didn't apply compost to.

Plant

It’s plenty warm to give good growth from sod, plugs, or grass seed, but you need to pay a lot of attention to watering. St Augustine and Zoysia usually is sold as sod or plugs. Bermuda can be sold as seed, plugs, or sod. Fescue, Ryes, and Buffalo based grasses are usually sold as seed.

You can still sow bermuda seed up till mid August. You will still have time for it to become established before it goes dormant in the winter (90 days before first average freeze in the middle of November).

You can sod your lawn anytime really. It’s like planting a perennial. Re-sodding your lawn is the best control of weeds if your St Augustine died out and is the best way to bring it back. Call Rohde’s to help you with this.

Information on newer turf grass varieties from Texas A&M:
http://dallas.tamu.edu/news/2017/foxturfsegment/: Video on A&M’s new TamStar St Augustine grass.
http://dallas.tamu.edu/research/turf/
http://dallas.tamu.edu/media/1143/turfgrass-varieties-for-licensing.pdf
http://dallas.tamu.edu/media/1210/tamstar-one-pager.pdf : TamStar, A&M’s latest new “super” St Augustine grass release.

Whatever you do, don’t leave the soil bare. At least cover it with compost.

Fertilize

If you haven’t fertilized in the last 3 or 4 months, do so now, but if you are using synthetic fertilizers, do not do so. The high nitrogen has been associated with increase lawn disease problems in the heat of summer. The grass grows fast, plump, and lush, diluting its natural disease and pest protection compounds, but adding the water and sugars pest and disease like. If you are using organic fertilizers like Green Sense All Purpose Lawn and Garden fertilizer, you can fertilize now. Organic fertilizers are slow release and won't cause quick growth. They also help reduce lawn disease problems by reducing soil pH and promoting a greater variety of soil organisms.

Watering, Mowing, Trimming

I haven’t had to water my lawn yet this year, but August should require me to do so. So make sure your watering system works, even if that means you standing around with a garden hose.
It’s hot enough to let the grass grow longer if you haven’t already raised your lawn mower higher.
See
http://www.beorganic.com/additional_info/Mowing_and_Watering_the_Lawn.htm for more information.

Pests, Disease, & Weeds

It’s still chinch bug, grub worm and chigger time of the year!
See: http://www.beorganic.com/additional_info/Chinch_Bugs_Chiggers_Grub_Worms.htm for more information.
If you think you have disease or pest problems with your lawn, it is best to bring into the store, a clump of grass with dirt and roots from the boundary of brown and green grass for us to see if we can narrow down the problem. We have Serenade, corn meal, and peat moss for fungal problems. Insecticidal oils and diatomaceous earth for chinch bugs. Bt products for sod web worms and army worms.

OTHER THINGS TO DO THIS MONTH

Don’t forget the wildlife in this heat. Bird bathes are important for watering birds as well as bathing, and particularly during the heat of summer, they also supply water for cute animals other than birds. Cats, squirrels, raccoons, and insects will all use them. Ugly animals like opossums, bats, and rats will not use the bird bath of course. It’s best to put bird bathes in open, shady areas to give birds a better chance to see predators and keep cool. Wet birds don’t react as quick either. Rocks in the middle of the bath will allow the birds to drink without getting wet, important during the winter.

I'm finding lizards and toads in my gardens I haven't seen in decades. They drink from wet foliage usually. So I try to spray the shrubs and potted plants daily for them.

We carry an excellent selection of bird food from single seed to mixes, and from single pound purchases to 50 pound bags.

Have your landscape and garden soil tested to know how to prepare your gardens and lawns. Rohde’s recommends
“Texas Plant & Soil Lab” at 5115 West Monte Cristo Road, Edinburg, Texas 78541-8852, 956-383-0739. They can give you organic recommendations when asked.

Most of this calendar is designed for Dallas, Tx in USDA Hardiness Zone 8a, with a predominant soil type of blackland prairie clay.