Gardening This Weekend: November 14, 2019
So far November has been rather unpleasant for plant people. But there’s hope that somewhat warmer weather is right around the corner. Here’s a checklist of things you’ll want to get done.
• Pansies, violas, pinks, snapdragons and ornamental cabbage and kale for cool-season color. Readers in South Texas can also include petunias, stocks, larkspurs, calendulas, sweet alyssum, wallflowers, English daisies, Swiss chard varieties Rhubarb and Bright Lights, cyclamen, Iceland poppies and other frost-hardy plants.
• Trees, shrubs as nurseries finish out their end-of-season sales. Christmas trees are on their way! This is an absolutely fine time to plant woody landscape plants with the sole exception being those types that are known to be winter-tender in your part of Texas.
• Dead stubble from perennial gardens now that the freezes have killed things back for the winter.
• Erratic growth from evergreen shrubs, but save major pruning and reshaping for later this winter. That photo on the main page of e-gardens this week shows exactly what I’m talking about.
• Houseplants to reshape them if they’re taking up too much space now that you have them indoors for the winter.
• Winter grasses (ryegrass and fescue) with all-nitrogen lawn food during this, their most active period of growth. In the case of ryegrass that has been over-seeded into an existing lawn of St. Augustine or bermuda, apply the fertilizer at half to two-thirds the recommended rate.
• Pansies and other winter color annuals with high-nitrogen, water-soluble fertilizer each time that you water them. That’s especially important for plants you’re growing in pots, since nutrients drain away quickly.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• This week’s cold has been bad, but things will probably get worse. Have frost cloth pre-cut and ready to pull over tender plants for protection from extreme cold should it roll in.
• Brown patch is still active in St. Augustine lawns in southern parts of Texas. The grass turns yellow, then brown in circular patches. Blades pull loose from runners with gentle tugs. Apply a labeled turf fungicide from your local independent retail garden center.
• Monitor houseplants for insects that may have come indoors when you moved them inside. Watch especially for spider mites, scales and mealy bugs. Take the plants back outdoors to treat on a warm day, but keep them out of direct sunlight and wind.