In the Weeds – June 2024

May in review

May was fairly dry for some and extremely wet for others. The northern and eastern stretches of the greater Houston market saw extensive rainfall and flooding. The western, southwest, and southern areas only saw heavy rain late in the month but areas near rivers experienced flooding from rainfall further up the river basin.

Important dates looking forward

If you have a home garden, hopefully you have been enjoying the fruits of your labor. You can expect to see tomatoes stop setting fruit later in the month when high temps get up around 95 degrees.

Pest problems are likely to show up in the next month. I am seeing lots webworms in trees. We previously referred to these as “fall webworm” but now we are seeing them as early as May. Here is a great pamphlet about webworms and treatment options-

I expect to see “army worms” in the next 30 days especially if you have had them before. Follow the recommendations below for treating caterpillars, Army worms can hit fast so have a control measure on hand.

Action items for this month

  • It’s time to fertilize again, I am a big fan of the silver bag Nitro-Phos Super Turf this time of year. It has a very slow release nitrogen so you don’t get excessive growth to mow extremely frequently. It also has extra Iron that helps with a nice dark green color
  • Landscape pest pressure will continue this month. Aphids and caterpillars are the biggest culprits we will see.
    • BT Worm killer and caterpillar killer is an organic option that is highly effective on smaller caterpillars. Keep it on hand and follow directions. It can be used in the garden as well against tomato hornworms and to some degree Squash vine borers. It does not last long once applied so may need to be used every few days and after rains.
    • Cyonara is a broad range insecticide that will treat most of your insect problems from aphids to ants and caterpillars.
  • Roses- Hopefully you started rose feeding in March, now we want to maintain at least a monthly feeding cycle, if you can feed weekly even better, just reduce the amount used appropriately. A quality rose fertilizer is all you need, but skip the Miracle grow and go with Osmocote or Nitro- Phos rose fertilizers.
  • Fire ants really are popping up with the rains and warm weather. Our April newsletter detailed treatment options.

Municipal Drainage Happenings

Municipal turf grass conditions are at a 4 year high for the May/June time period. Sufficient rainfall, lack of severe winter freezes, and favorable spring /early summer temperatures have led to good grass stands. Drainage channel maintenance is a high priority item as we enter tropical storm season. Effective and consistent herbicide programs to control aquatic vegetation is the most cost effective. If the rainfall keeps up, I would expect mosquito’s to become a nuisance and a source of resident complaints. We do have a turf-based product to combat Mosquito problems, however you cannot wait till they are already at peak population. It needs to be applied systemically to keep populations low and under control.

Early summer rains and green grass,

Hunter Soape