Gardening This Weekend: April 6, 2017

This is the most-read part of e-gardens. It’s also the main reason we went from monthly to weekly – so I could be really relevant with my suggestions. Here are this week’s prime topics.


• Warm-season vegetables. Plant tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash, cucumbers, corn right away. Stay with small- and mid-sized tomatoes for best production. Large types like Beefsteak and Big Boy don’t set fruit above 90F.
• Warm-season annuals including marigolds, zinnias, cockscomb, cosmos, pentas, angelonias, coleus, wax begonias and purple fountaingrass among others.
• South Texas gardeners plant lantanas, periwinkles, moss rose, hybrid purslane, firebush, Texas Gold esperanza and copper plants. Wait a couple more weeks to plant those in North Texas.
• Warm-season grasses from sod. In South Texas plant bermudagrass from seed.


• Dead or damaged branches from trees and shrubs. Oleanders, pomegranates and figs that were killed by the winter cold can be cut to the ground and encouraged to regrow. See Question of the Week for information on same topic relative to crape myrtles.
• Azaleas, wisteria, Carolina jessamine, Lady Banksia roses, crossvine, forsythia, quince, viburnums and other spring-blooming shrubs and vines to reshape. Avoid formal shearing.
• Keep garden tidy by removing browned stems and spent flowers from spring-blooming perennials.


• Water-soluble, high-nitrogen plant food to patio pots, hanging baskets, new annual flower and vegetable transplants to get them off to a quick start.
• Lawn with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form.
• Same lawn fertilizer to all trees and shrub and groundcover plantings.


Continued Below



• Spider mites on junipers and Italian cypress causing plants to develop an overall olive drab color. Apply insecticide labeled for mite control. (Italian cypresses are also struggling this year with Seridium canker and Phomopsis tip dieback. Sprays are not very effective.)
• Clover, dandelions, dollarweed, dichondra, poison ivy and other non-grassy weeds with a broadleafed weedkiller spray containing 2,4-D. Read and follow label directions for best results.
• Cabbage loopers on leaves of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and other cole crops. Apply B.t. biological worm spray.
• Snails, slugs and pillbugs devouring tender new growth. Apply Sevin dust or bait to plants, soil. These feed primarily at night.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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