Question of the Week: February 18, 2016
“Neil! What impact will this warm winter have on my landscape and gardening, specifically my fruit trees and the application date for my pre-emergent weedkillers?”
I’d like to break my answer into two larger categories. First, what parts can you impact, and what parts are out of your control?
Whether we have a peach and plum crop in 2016 or not depends on the weather from this point on. You have very little control over your fruit trees. If you planted a variety that was recommended for your area, that’s about all you can do at this time. If the tree is budding out or even flowering, a late frost could damage the fruit set and a late freeze could ruin the crop entirely. But don’t try to do anything heroic like sprinkling the trees. Ice will form on their branches to the point of limbs being broken. Commercial growers use fogging devices to help them save their current year’s crop. But mere mortals like you and I don’t have access to that equipment. Just hope for the best.
However, as for the pre-emergent weedkiller applications, you have complete control over when those treatments will be made, and because this winter has been so ongoingly balmy, I’m finally willing to relent and give you the green light to move the treatment date up by one week. In South Texas that would be now. In Central, North Central and Northeast Texas, it would be one week from now. Farther north, let’s wait to see what the weather forecast looks like two weeks from now.
As for the types of pre-emergent weedkillers you might use, for warm-season annual grassy weeds you could choose from Dimension, Team and Halts. Repeat the application 90 days later for a full season of protection from weed germination. For broadleafed weeds such as roadside asters and spurge, use Gallery, also with a follow-up application in 90 days.