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.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• 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.