Gardening This Weekend: February 23, 2017

The things we list on this page are going to change dramatically almost every week through the spring. Here are this week’s shout-outs.


• Last call for digging and relocating established plants before spring growth hits full stride. Hold ball of soil intact around roots. You may already be too late for some plants in South Texas.
• Last call to dig and divide summer- and fall-flowering perennials before their new growth commences.
• Finish planting cole crops. Plant leafy and root vegetables. South Texas gardeners along the Gulf Coast can begin planting beans and even tomato transplants.
• Petunias, sweet alyssum and other early spring flowers to allow longest possible flowering season before summer.


• Newly transplanted (bare-rooted or balled-and-burlapped) trees and shrubs to compensate for roots lost in the digging.
• Flowering quince, winter honeysuckle and other spring-flowering shrubs immediately after they finish blooming. Prune lightly and only as needed to shape.
• Dead or severely damaged stems of shrubs that were hurt by this past winter’s cold.


• Spring color beds with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food weekly to promote vigorous growth.
• Side-band rows of vegetable crops with high-nitrogen fertilizer to promote vigorous growth.
• Rye and fescue turf with all-nitrogen food for biggest flush of spring growth. Wait to fertilize warm-season grasses.
• Liquid root-stimulator fertilizer should be applied monthly to newly planted trees, shrubs.


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• Aphids congregating on tender new foliage and flowerbuds. Wash off with brisk stream of water or apply general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticide.
• Broadleafed weedkiller spray to control all non-grassy weeds in lawn. Most brands contain a blend of three different herbicides. One or two of them may be active through the soil and tree roots, so use with great caution. Types with 2,4-D only are usually sold only in independent retail garden centers. They may be more fitting for areas with many trees, but read and follow label directions carefully.
• There is no control at this point for annual bluegrass and other winter weedy grasses. Mark the calendar to apply a pre-emergent herbicide in the first week of September to prevent them.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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