Gardening This Weekend: December 6, 2018
Much of Texas is expecting rain the next day or two, but there are some critical jobs near at hand. Here they are.
• Daffodils and grape hyacinths before the end of the month.
• Tulips and Dutch hyacinths that have been “pre-chilling” in the refrigerator for 45 or more days at 45 degrees can be planted into the ground as soon as it’s comfortable to do so. Soil temperatures are sufficiently cool.
• Pansies, pinks, ornamental cabbage and kale and other winter color to spruce up your beds.
• Mow lawn one more time to remove last of the fallen leaves. Mowing also eliminates many rank-growing weeds.
• Remove all winter-killed stubble from perennials, annuals, bananas and vegetable plantings. Grind it and use it in the compost.
• Damaged branches from trees, especially if they might break and fall in wind or ice storms.
• Pansies, pinks and other cool-season color to keep them growing vigorously during warm spells. Feed them each time that you water them. Obviously that will be less often as it turns really cold.
• Houseplants sparingly during the dark days of mid-winter. Your goal should probably be to maintain them at a status quo, not encourage them to grow vigorously.
• Poinsettias and other Christmas color pots will not need supplemental fertilizers. Growers have given them adequate supplies to carry them through.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Houseplants for signs of population explosions of scale, mealy bugs and white flies. These pests have no natural predators when we move our plants indoors.
• Cover tender vegetation with lightweight frost cloth when extreme cold is expected. Buy it now, cut it to fit loosely over the beds. Fold it and store it in plastic bags until you need it. It can remain in place for weeks, and it can even be reused from one year to the next. Plastic film is not good, as plants heat up too quickly in the morning sunlight.