Gardening This Weekend: November 17, 2016
Alert: As of press time, temperatures over big parts of Texas are forecast to drop to near or below freezing, beginning in the Panhandle and Northwest Texas on Friday morning and spreading through the rest of the state by Saturday and Sunday mornings. That means that a killing freeze or frost may occur. (Yes, you can have a killing frost at temperatures several degrees above 32F.) Take necessary precautions for your fall vegetable crops, patio tropicals, etc.
• Pansies and other winter color you’ve bought recently. Nothing good happens to color plants when they’re left sitting in their original pots.
• Nursery stock. Watch for great values in marked down trees and shrubs as nurseries make room for Christmas. It is absolutely fine to plant now and into the winter. The only exceptions would be plants you know to be temperature-sensitive in your area.
• Trim excessive growth from patio pots and hanging baskets if you’re bringing them into the house or greenhouse for winter.
• Continue mowing lawn into the winter to remove new growth, winter weeds and fallen tree leaves. Use clippings in compost.
• Trim stubble from perennials as they die back for winter. Try not to remove green foliage, as it’s useful in storing foods for next year’s growth.
• Pansies, violas, pinks, snapdragons and other cool-season color with high-nitrogen, water-soluble food to keep them growing and blooming actively.
• Ryegrass used as winter cover for permanent turf, or fescue you’ve planted as permanent turf, with all-nitrogen fertilizer at half the rate recommended for use during warm months. Water deeply after feeding.
ON THE LOOKOUT:
• Watch your weather forecasts closely over the next several days. Cover tender herbs and vegetables as needed. Harvest if you must. See related story this issue.
• Probably last call to apply glyphosate-only herbicide such as the original Roundup or Kleen Up to kill existing weeds and grass in areas where you plan to start a new garden in January or February. The sprays won’t be effective once frost has turned the grass brown.
• Brown patch is still active in St. Augustine. It shows up in round patches sprinkled liberally across the lawn. Blades pull loose from the runners easily. Treat with a labeled turf fungicide. You’re most likely to find them at local independent garden centers and hardware stores.