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.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• 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.