Gardening This Weekend: April 5, 2018
If Easter found you doing other things than gardening last weekend, you may be playing catch-up. Here are your most critical goals.
• Warm-season grasses from sod. In South Texas plant bermudagrass from seed. Wait until later in month to seed bermuda in North Texas.
• 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 until later in month to plant those in North Texas.
• 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 well in Texas.
• 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. Leave foliage on daffodils, summer snowflakes, and other bulbs until leaves turn brown so they can make and store food for next year.
• 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 shrubs and groundcover plantings. Have soils tested by TAMU Soil Testing Laboratory every 3-4 years to monitor changes in nutrients.
• 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.
ON THE LOOKOUT:
• 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.
• Snails, slugs and pillbugs devouring tender new growth. Apply Sevin dust or bait to plants, soil. These feed primarily at night.
• Aphids congregating on tender new growth of shrubs, perennials and other plants. They are always pear-shaped, but colors will be green, red, brown or creamy yellow. Try blasting them off with hard stream of water. If that fails, most general-purpose organic and inorganic insecticides will eliminate them.
• Cabbage loopers on leaves of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and other cole crops. Apply B.t. biological worm spray.