Gardening This Weekend: April 4, 2019

This part of e-gardens could easily be six times as long this time of the year. Here are your important things to get done.

Warm-season vegetables: tomatoes (small to mid-sized varieties only), bush beans, squash, cucumbers, corn, peppers. In South Texas: okra, sweet potatoes.
Warm-season annual color. Let your local independent garden center personnel guide you as to the best choices.
Sod of warm-season lawngrasses.
Trees and shrubs while nurseries have best supplies.
Groundcovers to take advantage of burst of spring growth.

Spring-blooming shrubs, vines to reshape as soon as they’re finished flowering.
Dead or damaged branches as soon as you can identify them (as plants leaf out for new spring growth).
Mow lawn frequently and at recommended height to discourage weed growth.
Reshape overgrown houseplants as you repot and bring them outdoors for the summer.

Turf, landscape trees and shrubs, flowers and even vegetables with all-nitrogen fertilizer unless reliable soil test indicates other nutrients are needed. Look for food with significant portion of nitrogen in slow-release form.
Patio pots, hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer with each watering. Incorporate a timed-release form of fertilizer for sustained feeding as well.

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Aphids are massed atop tender new growth of many plants now. You can wash them off with a hard stream of water, or most general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticides will control them. See related story last week.
Snails, slugs and pillbugs feeding on tender new growth. Control with baits or with Sevin dust. You can also sink a pie pan flush with the soil surface and pour beer into it. They will be attracted to the fermenting smell. They will tumble in and drown.
Cutworms severing stems of beans, tomatoes and other tender flower and vegetable seedlings. Dust the soil with Sevin or, as my mom taught me, put a large nail immediately beside each plant’s stem to make it impossible for them to cut the stem.
Clover, thistles, chickweed and other rampant broadleafed (non-grassy) weeds: spray with a 2,4-D based broadleafed weedkiller. It may take a few days to see its impact, but it will do the job. Read and follow label directions.
There is no similar control for grassy weeds now that they are mature. Let them run their course. They will die away as it turns hot. Your late summer/early fall application of pre-emergents will prevent their germination for next year.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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