Gardening This Weekend: February 15, 2018
It may be a bit cool and wet in parts of Texas this weekend, but that doesn’t stop our need to get these tasks performed as soon as we can. Spring is knocking on the garden gate.
• Finish digging and transplanting trees and shrubs before buds begin to swell (may be too late in South Texas).
• Fruit and pecan trees and bare-rooted roses.
• Frost-tolerant annuals: petunias, stocks, English daisies, larkspurs, sweet alyssum.
• Cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower) and Irish potatoes– this is the best time to plant them across much of our state.
• Peach and plum trees, grape vines immediately. Buds are starting to swell. Early varieties are, or soon will be, in bloom in South Texas.
• Do not top crape myrtles – there is no justifiable reason (including reducing height – they’ll just grow back).
• Dead or severely damaged growth due to cold winter temperatures.
• Rose bushes by 50 percent immediately, even if they have started to produce new foliage. If you are in an area infested with rose rosette virus (such as DFW), be sure your plants are not infected. See detailed information on my website. Infected plants must be removed.
• Asparagus immediately with all-nitrogen, fast-release fertilizer such as 21-0-0.
• Winter and early spring annual color with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food.
• Liquid root stimulator to newly planted and transplanted trees and shrubs.
• Rye and fescue turf to stimulate new growth. Use high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer. I apply it at half or two-thirds the recommended rate at this feeding, since my permanent lawn is still essentially dormant.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Concentrations of aphids on tender new growth. Wash off with hard stream of water or apply general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticide.
• Wrap trunks of newly planted oaks and Chinese pistachios to prevent sunscald. Leave wrapped for 18 to 24 months.
• Broadleafed weedkiller spray to eliminate non-grassy weeds in lawn, including clover, dandelions, chickweed, thistles, plantain and others. (See related story this issue.)