Gardening This Weekend: November 16, 2017
Things are about to get really busy, what with major holidays on the near horizon. Here are the things you might want to get done this weekend before you turn your attention elsewhere.
• Pansies, violas, pinks, snapdragons and ornamental cabbage and kale for cool-season color. Readers in South Texas can also include petunias, stocks, larkspurs, calendulas, sweet alyssum, wallflowers, English daisies, Swiss chard varieties Rhubarb and Bright Lights, cyclamen, Iceland poppies and other frost-hardy plants.
• Trees, shrubs as nurseries finish out their end-of-season sales. This is an absolutely fine time to plant woody landscape plants with the sole exception being those types that are known to be winter-tender in your part of Texas.
• Dead stubble from perennial gardens to tidy them up before winter.
• Erratic growth from evergreen shrubs, but save major pruning and reshaping for later this winter.
• Houseplants to reshape them as you prepare to move them indoors for the winter.
• Winter grasses (ryegrass and fescue) with all-nitrogen lawn food during this, their most active period of growth. In the case of ryegrass that has been over-seeded into an existing lawn of St. Augustine or bermuda, apply the fertilizer at half to two-thirds the recommended rate.
• Pansies and other winter color annuals with high-nitrogen, water-soluble fertilizer each time that you water them. That’s especially important for plants you’re growing in pots, since nutrients drain away quickly.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Have frost cloth pre-cut and ready to pull over tender plants for protection from extreme cold should it roll in.
• Brown patch is still active in St. Augustine lawns in southern half of Texas. Grass turns yellow, then brown in circular patches. Blades pull loose from runners with gentle tugs. Apply labeled fungicide from local independent retail garden center.
• Monitor houseplants for insects that may have come indoors with them. Watch especially for spider mites, scales and mealy bugs. Take the plants back outdoors to treat, but keep them out of direct sunlight and wind.