Gardening This Weekend: November 1, 2018
Wondering what you really need to get done right away now, before you move any farther into the fall? Here is my list.
• Set out pansies, violas, pinks, ornamental cabbage and kale, dusty Miller and other winter color plants now so they can grow as much as possible before winter rolls in.
• New trees and shrubs while nurseries still have good supplies, and to give them all these extra months to establish roots before next summer’s heat. This is the best time to plant them.
• Absolute last call for dividing and replanting spring-flowering perennials. Once frost kills them to the ground it will be very difficult to do correctly.
• Plant daffodils, narcissus, summer snowflake and grape hyacinths as soon as you buy them. Refrigerate tulips and Dutch hyacinths for at least 45 days at 45F before planting them into garden during last two weeks of December.
• Tidy up overgrown or misshapen shrubs now, but save major pruning for late January.
• Remove browned and dead stalks, stems, leaves and seedheads from perennials and stem stubble from annual gardens.
• Dead or damaged branches from shade trees while you can still identify them. It is much more difficult to do so once they lose their leaves, and that time is near at hand.
• New annual color plantings with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to get them off to a great start. Repeat weekly until weather turns really cold.
• Ryegrass and fescue turf with high-nitrogen lawn food now. These are cool-season grasses that utilize nutrients well during cool weather.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Insects such as scales, whiteflies, mealybugs, pillbugs and even roaches may try to hitch rides into your house as you bring plants indoors for the winter. Examine the plants closely before bringing them inside. Treat any problems you find while they’re still outside.
• Don’t be at all concerned about leaf spots or edge and tip burn you see this late in the season on foliage of deciduous shade trees and shrubs.
• Fire ants are rampant across much of Texas now due to recent rains and waterlogged soils. See related story this issue.