Gardening This Weekend: November 7, 2019

Freezing temperatures dropped way into parts of South Texas last week and more is coming early next week. I scanned cities I had archived on my weather app, and it was pretty amazing for so early in the season. That said, here are the things we’ll want to address while we can this weekend.

Replace frozen summer color plants with pansies, violas, pinks, snapdragons, ornamental cabbage and kale, sweet alyssum and other cold-hardy plants that are suited to your part of Texas. The 10-day forecast calls for cold or cool weather most of that time, so this weekend may be your best chance. Remember that color in pots is easiest to plant and easiest to move into protection during unusually cold spells in mid-winter. Just a thought!
Trees and shrubs as nurseries make final reductions before Christmas trees start arriving.

All frozen stubble from perennials. Mark those that have frozen to the ground so that you’ll be able to find them as you plant new types into the ground over the winter.
Dead and damaged branches off trees so that they won’t drop during winter snow and ice storms if you’re in a part of the state where bad weather is likely. Even slow rains and winds can cause limbs to snap and fall.
Mow lawn regularly to keep fallen leaves and weed growth picked up.
Overgrown patio plants as needed to get them into the house or greenhouse.

Winter annuals with water-soluble or liquid, high-nitrogen fertilizer to keep them growing at a rapid pace.
Cut way back on fertilizer you give houseplants once you have them indoors under lower light intensities of winter.
Ryegrass or fescue if you’ve not yet done so. These are cool-season grasses, meaning they grow most actively in late fall and from late winter through spring.

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If you have brought plants inside for the winter be sure they’re getting adequate light. Ferns, rubber plants, scheffleras, crotons and others need more light than they often get indoors. They soon start dropping lower leaves, and new leaves that are produced are malformed and unattractive. The solution is to move them to brighter locations.
Broadleafed weeds in your lawn, including clover, dandelions, dichondra, dollar weed and others. If your lawn was turned brown by the frost late last week these weeds should be especially easy to see and treat. Spray when the weeds’ leaves are dry and when no rain is expected for 24 hours.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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