Gardening This Weekend: March 14, 2019

With prospects of the weather cooperating for the next several days, here are your most important gardening activities.

Warm-season annual color can be planted now in most of the state, although there’s still a risk of frost or freeze in the I-20, I-30 corridor and northward, also in cooler parts of the Hill Country.
Warm-season vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers from transplants and beans, cucumbers, melons, corn and squash from seed – same frost precautions as mentioned above.
Container-grown nursery stock. Nurseries have their best selections now. Shop late in the week as they have stocked up for the weekend. (That’s why we distribute e-gardens on Thursday evenings.)
New lawns from sod, although it’s better to wait another week or two unless you’re in South Texas. Wait until late April or May to sow bermuda seed.

Mow turf frequently to maintain proper height and discourage weeds.
Spring-flowering shrubs and vines as needed to correct rogue shoots. Avoid shearing into formal shapes. This pruning should be done immediately after they finish flowering.
Misshapen greenhouse plants and houseplants should be pruned and reshaped before you repot them and bring them out for a summer beneath your shade trees.

All-nitrogen fertilizer (or in sandy soils, high-nitrogen food) with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form. Apply to almost all the plants that you’re growing: turf, flowers, vegetables, fruit and landscapes. One fertilizer may be sufficient for each feeding.
High nitrogen, water-soluble plant food for patio pots and hanging baskets with each watering. Supplement with timed-release fertilizer.

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Broadleafed weeds such as chickweed, dandelions, clover, dichondra, thistles and other rank growers can be controlled with application of a broadleafed weedkiller (containing 2,4-D). Read and follow label directions carefully.
Grassy weeds such as the clumps of rescuegrass (often mistaken for summertime weed crabgrass) and the fine-textured annual bluegrass (Poa annua) can only be prevented. There is no control for them now that they are present. Apply pre-emergent last week or August or first week of September. Watch for details here.
Aphids may be prolific on tender new growth of many plants. They will always have pear-shaped bodies with “twin exhaust pipes.” You may be able to wash them off your plants with a hard stream of water. General-purpose insecticides, either organic or inorganic, will generally control them.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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