Gardening This Weekend: February 21, 2019

This part of e-gardens over the next two or three weeks will be perhaps my most difficult to write. We have 55,000 subscribers, and you’re reading this from Brownsville to Amarillo. What you see when you go out to work in the garden looks a lot different depending on where you are in our state.

That said, what I write may seem a bit premature for some of you in North Texas. That will be because I don’t want it to be too late for the gardeners in South Texas. I’ll try to point out the variations.

Leafy, root vegetables now in South Texas. Wait 1-2 weeks in North Texas.
Cabbage, broccoli, Irish potatoes soon in North Texas. It’s getting rather late in South Texas.
Petunias, larkspurs, sweet alyssum, stocks, wallflowers, Iceland poppies and other frost-hardy flowers in northern two-thirds of Texas.
Finish all dormant-season transplanting immediately in North Texas. Most woody plants have already started budding and growing in South Texas, so it’s too late for this winter.
Dig and divide mums, mallows, cannas, fall asters and other fall-flowering perennials before they start growing. It’s probably too late in South Texas, but you can still do it if you act soon in North Texas.

Spring-flowering shrubs and vines immediately after they finish blooming. List includes flowering quince, camellias, azaleas, Carolina jessamine, wisteria, bridal wreath and others. Prune only as needed to remove rogue growth.
Scalp lawn to remove winter-killed stubble and many of the broadleafed weeds. See related story this issue.
Bare-rooted and balled-and-burlapped fruit and shade trees to compensate for roots lost in their digging. Do so by removing 25-40 percent of internal stem growth and unwanted branches, also by pruning fruit trees back to begin creating “scaffold” branching structure.

Ryegrass and fescue cool-season grasses with all-nitrogen lawn food containing a high percentage of slow-release nitrogen. It is too early to fertilize warm-season turf unless you are in Deep South Texas.
Cool-season color plants, also new vegetable transplants and container plants with water-soluble, high-nitrogen plant food every two weeks.
Newly planted shade and fruit trees with liquid root stimulator. If they were dug before being planted, apply the root stimulator monthly this first year.

Continued Below


Wrap trunks of new oaks, Chinese pistachios to protect them from sunscald and subsequent invasion by borers.
Aphids congregating on tender new growth of many types of plants. They are pear-shaped and BB-sized or smaller. You often can blast them off with a hard stream of water, or most general-purpose insecticides will also control them.
Apply broadleafed weedkiller spray (but not “weed-and-feed” products) to control clover, dandelions, chickweed and other non-grassy weeds. Look for types that contain 2,4-D as one of the active ingredients.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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