Gardening This Weekend: November 21, 2019

Hopefully you’ll have some good weather over the weekend that will allow you to tidy things up before Thanksgiving. You’ll be amazed at how little effort it takes to makes things look a lot better quickly.

Pansies and other winter color plants. Plant in raised beds of well-prepared, highly organic soil. They’re also outstanding in pots. If you have guests coming for the holidays, that’s a quick way to spruce things up really nicely.
Tulips and Dutch hyacinths must have 45 days in the fridge before you plant them outdoors by the end of the year. This is just about your last call to get that done. Daffodils and grape hyacinths can be planted at any time.
Trees and shrubs can still be planted now, but you may have to hunt for them in the backs of the nurseries – behind the shipments of Christmas trees. Plant them as soon as possible after you get them home. Don’t leave them sitting out in the open during the cold weather ahead.

Mow lawn to remove fallen tree leaves brought down by last week’s really hard freeze and strong winds. To our chagrin, “fall color” in Texas lasted just a few hours for many of us this year!
Trim to re-shape foliage plants you’ve brought in from the patio for winter.
Erratic growth from shrubs, but save major reshaping for two months from now (late January, early February).

Ryegrass and fescue (cool-season grasses) with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen lawn food. Water immediately after feeding.
Pansies, pinks and other cool-season annuals with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to keep them growing vigorously. Failure to feed adequately is a common cause of poor plant performance.
Houseplants monthly with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food at half the recommended rate. Your goal for the winter is to maintain them status quo, not to encourage them to grow while they’re in the darker conditions indoors.

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Watch houseplants closely for signs of scale insects, mealybugs, whiteflies and spider mites. These pests commonly come in from outdoors when we bring plants inside for the winter. You might be able to find a day with a few warm hours where you could take them back into the garage long enough to treat for the pests.
Broadleafed weedkiller spray on a sunny, warm and relatively still day to kill cool-season broadleafed weeds before winter settles in. Read and follow label directions.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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