Gardening This Weekend: March 5, 2020
Longer and longer evenings mean more time to spend out in the yard. So, I’ve given you a few bonus “opportunities” to get involved. Here are this weekend’s prime tasks.
• Spring-flowering trees, shrubs and vines while nurseries have their best supplies. Protect all nursery stock from highway winds by wrapping them or carrying them in a closed trailer. You simply cannot drive slowly enough.
• Leafy and root vegetables in central 75 percent of Texas as soon as possible. Soils are still cool enough that you probably ought to wait to plant warm-season crops in that same area for another couple of weeks.
• Annual color that can withstand cool temperatures and even light frosts. That includes sweet alyssum, petunias, stocks, calendulas, larkspurs, wallflowers, Bright Lights Swiss chard and stocks, among others.
• Spring-flowering shrubs and vines as they finish blooming. That will apply to some types in South Texas already.
• Mow your lawn regularly, even if all you have is rank weeds. Many of them will be eliminated simply by mowing. If your lawn is still fairly brown from the winter, you may want to drop the mower down by one notch and “scalp” it to remove the stubble. Put the clippings into the compost or use them as mulch beneath shrubs. Do not send them to the landfill.
• Winter-killed leaves and stems from shrubs and groundcovers. You should be able to see new growth coming out from the stems or bases of most types that have been injured. If not, you’ll have to replace them.
• New flower, vegetable and groundcover transplants with water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer for quickest establishment and new growth.
• Lawns in Deep South Texas with high-quality, high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen lawn food. Half or more of that nitrogen should be in slow-release coated or encapsulated form. Wait until April 1 in rest of the state.
• Established flowers and vegetables, shrubs and groundcovers with the same high-nitrogen fertilizer. Soil tests from almost all parts of Texas show soils to be excessively high in phosphorus, middle number of the three-number analysis. It can accumulate to almost toxic levels.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Application of pre-emergent granules Team, Dimension or Halts must be made to lawn if you expect to prevent germination of crabgrass and grassburs. Do so immediately in the Huntsville to Bryan/College Station to Austin to Del Rio area north to the Red River and in two weeks in the Panhandle. Odds are that you’re too late in South Texas.
• Broadleafed weedkiller spray (containing 2,4-D) can be applied to kill existing non-grassy weeds such as clover, dandelions, chickweed and plantain. Read and follow label directions carefully for best results.
• Continue fruit spray program as outlined by Texas A&M online. It’s most critical for peaches and plums. Your county’s Texas AgriLife Extension office may also have localized timing and details.