Gardening This Weekend: March 12, 2020

Here’s to a few dry times over the next several days so that you can get these jobs accomplished.

Nursery stock is at the most plentiful supply. Shop on Thursdays and Fridays. That week’s shipments will have arrived, yet the weekend crowds won’t have been in yet.
In South Texas, and (with courage – keep your eye on the low temperatures) in Central Texas up to the Red River: Warm-season vegetables. Most successful types include bush beans, crookneck and zucchini squash, small and medium-sized tomatoes (large-fruiting types don’t set fruit well in Texas heat), peppers, and for large gardens, corn. Wait to plant okra until it turns warmer in mid- or late April.
In South Texas, and (with courage – same warning to watch the forecasts) in Central Texas up to the Red River: Warm-season annuals including marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, geraniums, coleus and wax begonias. Wait for warmer soils to plant vincas, lantanas, caladiums, moss rose and copper plants.
South Texas: St. Augustine, bermuda and zoysia sod if you need to cover bare ground soon. However, if you can wait a few weeks, that’s even better.

Spring-flowering shrubs and vines immediately after they finish blooming. Avoid shearing into formal shapes.
Mow turf at recommended height for type of grass that you’re growing. Frequent mowing at this time of year will discourage and kill vigorous early spring weeds.

Lawns in South Texas with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen plant food. Upwards of half of that nitrogen should be in slow-release form. Wait to feed turf in Central and North Texas until April 1.
Unless a recent soil test shows otherwise, that same high-N or all-N fertilizer will be best for landscape plants and even flowers and vegetables.
Cool-season annual color with high-nitrogen, water-soluble food every couple of weeks.

Continued Below

Last call for applying pre-emergent herbicide granules to prevent crabgrass and grassburs in Central and North Central Texas lawns. Wait 10-15 days in the Panhandle. See related story this issue.
Aphids congregate on tender new growth of many types of plants. Colors will vary, but all will have pear-shaped bodies and twin “exhaust pipes” on either side. They are easily controlled with almost any organic or inorganic insecticide. You may even be able to wash them off with a hard stream of water.
Chickweed, dandelions, clover, dichondra and dollarweed can be controlled with application of broadleafed weedkiller (containing 2,4-D). Read and follow label directions carefully for best results. Be patient – these products may take a week or two to show effects and you may have to treat more than one time for tenacious weeds. Small droplets that coat the weeds’ leaves are most effective.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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