Gardening This Weekend: March 1, 2018

Evenings are getting longer, so you have a bit more time to work in the landscape and garden when you get home. Nurseries are stocking up for the spring. It’s a fun time to be a gardener. Here are some of the most critical objectives for early March.


Nursery stock as you see types you’re been wanting. Early-spring arrivals are typically larger plants that have been in their containers for a period of time. Spring-flowering shrubs and vines may only be available for a short while, so shop on Fridays. Trucks have arrived by then, and you’ll get first dibs.
Frost-tolerant annual color such as English daisies, snapdragons, larkspurs, petunias, alyssum, stocks and ornamental Swiss chard to decorate late-winter gardens.
Leafy and root vegetables in Central and North Central Texas. These plants can withstand any frosts or freezes that might remain. Wait another two or three weeks in the Panhandle.
South Texas gardeners can begin to plant beans, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, corn and other warm-season vegetables over the next week or two.


Scalp your lawn to remove winter-killed stubble and many of the vigorous broadleafed weeds.
Browned palm leaves as well as pittosporum, gardenia and oleander stems that were frozen in winter’s cold. The pittosporums and gardenias won’t come back. Oleanders will. Cast iron plants to remove any browned foliage. South Texans will have other plants on their lists: bougainvilleas, Esperanzas and sago palms to mention a few. Trim and groom these as well.
Spring-flowering shrubs and vines as needed to correct erratic growth immediately after they finish blooming.


New annual flower and vegetable transplants with high-nitrogen, liquid fertilizer weekly to get them established and growing.
Rye and fescue turf with all-nitrogen fertilizer to maximize spring green-up. Wait several weeks to fertilize St. Augustine and bermuda.
Groundcover beds with all-nitrogen lawn fertilizer with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form. Early feeding will maximize burst of spring growth.

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Aphids congregating on tender new growth of shrubs, flowers and vegetables. Wash most of them off with a hard stream of water. If they persist apply a general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticide.
Broadleafed weedkiller spray (containing 2,4-D) to control clover, dandelions, chickweed and other non-grassy weeds. I am not a supporter of weed-and-feed products. It’s way too early to fertilize in most of Texas. In my opinion, these two processes need to be done separately.
Mow to remove henbit (scalloped leaves with purple flowers). While a broadleafed weedkiller spray will kill it, mowing is quicker and easier. It is a weak weed, and it will not regrow.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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