Gardening This Weekend: March 2, 2017
Evenings are about to get longer. Weather is going to get warmer. Nurseries are going to be fuller. Here are the things you’ll want to accomplish between now and early next week.
• Leafy and root vegetables in northern half of state (where there still is a 50-50 chance of a freeze or frost). South Texas gardeners (who don’t fear the chance of a late-winter frost) can begin to plant beans, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, corn and other warm-season vegetables.
• Frost-tolerant annual color such as petunias, alyssum, stocks and ornamental Swiss chard to decorate late-winter gardens.
• Nursery stock as you see types you’re been wanting. Early-spring arrivals are typically larger plants that have been in their containers for a period of time. It’s a great time to buy.
• Spring-flowering shrubs and vines as needed to correct erratic growth immediately after they finish blooming.
• Scalp lawn to remove winter-killed stubble and many of the vigorous broadleafed weeds.
• Browned palm leaves as well as pittosporum, gardenia and oleander stems that were frozen in winter’s cold. The pittosporums and gardenias won’t come back. Oleanders will. South Texans will have other plants on their lists: bougainvilleas, Esperanzas and sago palms to mention a few. Trim and groom these as well.
• Rye and fescue turf with all-nitrogen fertilizer to maximize spring green-up. Wait several weeks to fertilize St. Augustine and bermuda.
• Groundcover beds with all-nitrogen lawn fertilizer with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form. Early feeding will maximize burst of spring growth.
• New annual flower and vegetable transplants with high-nitrogen, liquid fertilizer weekly to get them established and growing.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Broadleafed weedkiller spray (containing 2,4-D) to control clover, dandelions, chickweed and other non-grassy weeds. I do not advocate weed-and-feed products. It’s too early to fertilize, plus they can do great damage to nearby trees ands shrubs.
• Aphids congregating on tender new growth of shrubs, flowers and vegetables. Wash most of them off with a hard stream of water. If they persist apply a general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticide.
• Spider mites have been prevalent on junipers and Italian cypress. They are almost microscopic (the size of the period at the end of this sentence). Thump a graying twig over white paper and you will see them clambering around on the plain white background. Apply an insecticide listing mites on its label.