Gardening This Weekend: April 27, 2017
Spring is glorious in Texas, but as it starts to get progressively warmer there are things you need to tend to. Here are the most important ones.
• Hot-weather annuals that will provide color throughout the summer. See related story.
• New turf from sod or plugs. Soils are warm enough to seed common bermuda in southern half of the state. Wait a couple more weeks in northern half.
• Trees, shrubs, vines and groundcovers now to take advantage of spring growth spurts. Protect their foliage from highway winds on way home. You absolutely cannot drive slowly enough to avoid damage otherwise.
• Spring-flowering shrubs and vines immediately to reshape them.
• Branches from trees that have suffered damage to remove jagged ends. Make cuts flush with main trunk. Pruning sealant is needed for all cuts to oaks, but not to other species.
• Dead stalks from crape myrtles, pomegranates, hydrangeas, figs, oleanders and other shrubs that were hurt by winter’s cold in early January. Retrain new shoots from base to fill in the gaps.
• Almost all plants, including turf, landscape plants, flowers and vegetables with all-nitrogen or high-nitrogen plant food. Perhaps surprisingly, soil tests show that nitrogen is usually the only major element that is deficient in most Texas soils, so almost all of your plants will do best given a high-quality lawn fertilizer.
• Patio pots and hanging baskets with high-nitrogen, water-soluble fertilizer every week or two to keep them growing actively. Supplement it with slow-acting, timed-release fertilizer pellets as well.
• Iron-deficient plants with iron/sulfur product that will also help lower soil pH. See related story.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Cabbage loopers chewing holes in leaves of cabbage, broccoli and other cole crops. Apply Bacillus thuringiensis spray or dust.
• Seridium canker has caused large sections of Italian cypress, Leyland cypress and other conifers to die. Plant pathologists do not offer much hope other than pruning out infected branches and doing whatever we can to improve drainage around the plants. There is no fungicide that will stop its spread.
• St. Augustine if it is showing signs of Take All Root Rot (TARR). See related story.