There is still time to plant heat tolerant summer annuals. Just be sure to water transplants as needed until roots become established.
Remove faded flowers from plants before they set seed—this will encourage them to continue flowering.
Frequent mowing (every four to five days) is best for your grass and helps to reduce weeds by preventing seed heads from forming.
Regionally appropriate annual flowers do not need additional fertilizers. A light application of fertilizer every four to six weeks will help keep non-native annual flowers healthy and blooming.
Treat pecans with a spray application of zinc and a soil application of nitrogen. Irrigate your trees regularly to help improve their overall health and provide adequate nutrition for nut production.
Check for insects and diseases on plants, trees, and shrubs. Spider mites may become troublesome now that the weather is warming up. Follow Integrated Pest Management (IPM) recommendations. Be very careful if applying any pesticides—application during warm weather can lead to chemical burns on the leaves of your plants.
Look for problems on tomatoes. Blossom-end rot appears as a sunken brown spot on the bottom of the tomato. This is caused from irregular watering or lack of available calcium. Maintain consistent soil moisture with a regular watering schedule and mulch to reduce evaporation. Early blight—plants have yellow blotches or dark circular spots with concentric markings. Spots occur on lower leaves first. Apply an approved fungicide at seven to ten day intervals. Curly-top—Leaves curl and cup upward and turn light green to yellow with purple veins on the lower sides. Remove infected plants from the garden and destroy them to keep from infecting other plants in your garden.
Water lawns and gardens thoroughly but not too frequently. Soak to a depth of about six-inches (a one-inch application of water will normally penetrate to a depth of about six-inches). Watering in the early morning or late evening will help to eliminate problems with evaporation due to warm temperatures and high winds.
Conserve moisture in the soil around plants by mulching. Apply three to six inches of mulch, depending on the material used—coarser materials will need to be deeper than finer ones.
If moving houseplants outdoors for the summer, be careful not to place them into direct sunlight—they are no longer accustomed to such intense light and plant leaves can be severely burned.
Lonnie Jenschke is an Erath County extension agent.