Gardening This Weekend: October 25, 2018

Here’s hoping you’ll have a little time to spend out in the landscape and garden these next few days. Here are some important responsibilities you’ll want to consider.


Daffodils, narcissus, jonquils and grape hyacinths. Buy top-quality bulbs of varieties known to establish and bloom year after year. If you’re buying tulips and Dutch hyacinths, put them in the refrigerator for at least 45 days at 45F. Plant them during the last two weeks of December.
Winter color from pansies, violas, pinks, snapdragons, ornamental kale and cabbage. South Texans can also plant sweet alyssum, petunias, stocks, wallflowers, Iceland poppies and ornamental Swiss chard.
Trees and shrubs. Nurseries have great sales going on now, and planting now gives maximum time for them to establish good roots before next summer’s hot weather.


Mow lawn at recommended height. Bag clippings to prevent spread of turf diseases. Use shredded grass clippings and tree leaves in compost or as mulch beneath perennial plants.
Dead or damaged branches from tree limbs while you can easily distinguish them from living limbs.
Dead stubble from perennial gardens and vegetable plots to keep landscape tidy.


New annual color transplants with high-nitrogen, water-soluble food to get them off to a quick start. Repeat every couple of weeks.
Fescue and ryegrass turf with all-nitrogen lawn food containing high percentage of slow-release nitrogen (for sustained feeding).

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Insect pests that are trying to move indoors for the winter. Perimeter applications, both around the foundation and along baseboards will provide sustained control.
Stinging caterpillars have been common in Texas landscapes the past several weeks. Teach your children and grandkids not to handle caterpillars, and be on the lookout for them yourself as you’re working outdoors. This is an outstanding website with excellent photographs of common types.
Broadleafed weeds are thriving this fall. Control types such as clover, dandelions, henbit, chickweed, plantain and others with a broadleafed weedkiller spray (containing 2,4-D) sometime in the next three or four weeks (before it turns cold).

Posted by Neil Sperry
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