Gardening This Weekend: April 18, 2019
Let’s address ways you can get things looking great for this coming weekend. Follow these tips.
• Spring color from pentas, fanflowers, begonias, marigolds, coleus, impatiens and other cheerful plants of the season.
• Groundcover beds to give plants time to grow before hot summer weather arrives and slows them down.
• Turfgrass from sod or plugs. Bermuda from seed in South Texas. Wait a couple more weeks in North Texas for the soil to warm just a bit more.
• Trees and shrubs. Nurseries have great supplies still. Some will even be open Easter Sunday afternoon. Certainly Friday and Saturday.
Special Note about the Main page photo “Twist-n-Shout” hydrangea… In looking up the correct spelling of this cultivar I found that it was bred by fellow OSU Buckeye Dr. Michael Dirr. Mike and I were graduate students alongside one another working on the same graduate assistantship at OSU in the late 1960s. He went on to a brilliant career at the University of Georgia until he retired in 2003. He has been one of America’s most respected plant persons of recent history. Look at his many accomplishments in this write-up http://hort.caes.uga.edu/about/endowments/michael-dirr.html
• Mow your lawn at recommended height to discourage weed growth.
• Spring-blooming shrubs and vines to reshape them following flowering. Maintain natural growth forms.
• Houseplants that have grown lanky indoors over the winter. Repot them as needed into the next larger pot size.
• All landscape, garden plants, flowers and vegetables. Unless a reliable soil test tells you otherwise, stick with a high-nitrogen or, in most cases, an all-nitrogen fertilizer with somewhere around half the N in slow-release form.
• Patio pots and hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food with each watering. Timed-release fertilizer is also a good idea.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Broadleafed weeds (those that are not grasses) with a weedkiller spray containing 2,4-D. Read and follow label directions carefully to avoid damage to trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables nearby.
• Aphids clustering on new growth. They will be small (BB-sized) and always pear-shaped). You can usually wash them off with a hard stream of water, but most general purpose organic or inorganic insecticides will eliminate them.
• Cabbage loopers will chew holes in leaves of cabbage, broccoli and other cole crops. Control with Bacillus thuringiensis organic insecticide.
• Snails, slugs, pillbugs feed on tender new growth. Apply Sevin dust or bait or sink a pie tin filled with beer. They are attracted to the smell of the fermenting fluid.