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.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• 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.