Gardening This Weekend: October 19, 2017
As you start preparing your landscape and garden for cool months ahead, there are some critical tasks of the fall. Here is this week’s list.
• Finish dividing spring-flowering perennials, including violets, candytuft, thrift and Louisiana phlox, Shasta daisies, iris, daylilies, purple coneflowers, gloriosa daisies and others.
• Nursery stock while selections are still outstanding and as nurseries begin their end-of-season sales. This is the very best month of the year to plant woody plants into your landscape.
• Tulips and Dutch hyacinths can be bought now, but they need to go into the fridge at 45 degrees for the next two months, then planted mid-December. They will not bloom normally without the “pre-chilling” treatment. Daffodils and grape hyacinths can be planted immediately.
• Pansies, violas, pinks, snapdragons, ornamental cabbage and kale and other cold-hardy annual color can be planted now.
• Lawn to keep it at the same height you’ve been using all summer and fall. Letting grass grow tall in the fall does not improve its winter hardiness. It actually weakens the grass allowing weeds to invade in the process.
• Erratic shoots from shrubs and vines, but save major reshaping for mid-winter.
• Dead or damaged branches from shade trees before they go bare for the winter.
• Winter annuals with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food for quickest possible take off.
• Fescue and rye with high-nitrogen fertilizer to promote vigorous growth this fall.
ON THE LOOKOUT:
• To kill existing turf, weeds in places where you want to create new beds for spring plantings, apply a glyphosate-only herbicide by spraying precisely within the bed’s boundaries. It will kill the vegetation without contaminating the soil, but it must be applied before frost turns the growth brown.
• Brown patch in St. Augustine. This fungus is ramping up at full speed across Texas. It appears suddenly in round patches, usually in grass that has been wet at night. Affected blades pull loose easily from the runners. Here is the story we ran on it two weeks ago.
• Watch roses for signs of rose rosette virus and destroy affected plants (including roots) at once to limit its spread. Here is information I leave on my website’s home page.