VOLUME 13, ISSUE 8 • February 23, 2017

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


I warned you last week how things are moving in fast-forward now. No more putting them off. To be a great gardener you need to know what tasks are critical and when they need to be done. This week's e-gardens will get you started. I hope you enjoy it.

In this issue…
• Finding your last freeze date;
• Choosing the best flowering plants;
• Gardening this Weekend;
• Sooty mold darkens plant stems;
• Banana time arrives.

Chapter 2 of my latest book Neil Sperry's Lone Star Gardening has 48 pages dedicated, four pages per month, to what you need to plant, prune, fertilize and spray in your landscape and garden each month. The book is only $31.95 plus tax and postage, and that's just one of the chapters! Learn more.

Enough of that. On to e-gardens!

Photo: The beauty and purity of dogwoods mark a fresh start to the Texas gardening season.


Choosing Your Bloomers

People have been seeing things in flower weeks early this spring. Nurseries are chock full. Maybe you'd better hop in the bus and start plucking out your favorites before they sell out. I have tips on choosing.

Photo: It's azalea time across Texas, but are they a good match for you?


Gardening This Weekend

Ever wake up on a Saturday and wonder what you needed to do in your yard and garden that weekend? That's what this page is for, and we have almost an entirely new stack. Better read through it!

Photo: If you're going to dig and divide hardy mallows (hibiscus), do so now.


Yes, We Have Some Bananas!

Perhaps it's because I saw a trailer load of banana transplants on its way to nurseries last Sunday. Maybe it's because I just want to think "tropical." Either way, banana-planting time is here (or soon will be).

Photo: Bananas give that tropical look to a Texas poolscape.


Question of the Week 1: February 23, 2017

"Neil, how will I know when it's safe to plant my frost-sensitive flowers and vegetables?"

I'll give you the honest answer. Then I'll give you the practical answer.

Photo: Late frost won't hurt mondograss, but it would be death to tomatoes.


Question of the Week 2: February 23, 2017

"Neil, how can I get rid of the black mold on my crape myrtle stems? Will it harm the plants?"

This has come up many times in the past week. I have the details.

Photo: Stem from a poorly maintained crape myrtle in the DFW area.


And, in closing…

That's it for e-gardens this week, but we'll be back with the ongoing saga of gardening in the Great State of Texas, same time (Thursday, just after 6 p.m.) and same e-mail box (yours).

In the next seven days, please try to get one person a day to sign up for e-gardens. The more, the merrier. Remember what you paid to subscribe (nothing). This is the favor I ask in return.

Join me on the air, in newspapers, on my Facebook page or website (where we have podcasts), or ushering at church with our grandson for one more Sunday. He was acolyte for the first time last Sunday.

Until next week, thanks for reading and happy gardening!