Gardening This Weekend: April 23, 2020

Just last week there was snow in the Panhandle! Enough of that! Now maybe we can get serious about gardening all across Texas. Here are your main responsibilities for this last weekend of April.

Trees, shrubs, vines and groundcovers now to take advantage of spring growth spurts. Either have them delivered or you will have to protect their foliage from highway winds on your way home. Trust me. I found out the hard way, and you will, too.
Hot-weather annuals that will provide color throughout the summer. Let a Texas Certified Nursery Professional help you choose the best types for your needs.
New turf from sod or plugs. Soils are warm enough to seed common bermuda in southern half of the state. Wait a couple more weeks in the northern half.

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Dead stalks from crape myrtles, pomegranates, hydrangeas, figs, oleanders and other shrubs that were hurt by that first killing freeze back in late October in northern parts of the state. Retrain new shoots from base to fill in the gaps.
Spring-flowering shrubs and vines immediately to reshape them.
Dead flower stalks from daffodils, iris and other spring perennials as they finish their bloom cycles. Leave the green foliage in place. It is important so that the plants can store food in their bulbs and roots for next year’s flowers.

Almost all plants, including turf, landscape plants, flowers and vegetables with all-nitrogen or high-nitrogen plant food. Perhaps surprisingly, soil tests show that nitrogen is usually the only major element that is deficient in most Texas soils, so almost all of your plants will do best given a high-quality lawn fertilizer. Just be certain it does not have a weedkiller mixed in with it.
Patio pots and hanging baskets with high-nitrogen, water-soluble fertilizer every week or two to keep them growing actively. Supplement it with slow-acting, timed-release fertilizer pellets as well.

Take all root rot is common all across Texas right now. St. Augustine is most commonly hit, but it’s also attacking zoysia. Apply Azoxystrobin granules, sold at consumer level as Scotts Disease-EX. See related story this issue.
Oak leaf blister is causing puckering of leaves of various species of oaks. See related story this issue.
Lawn burweed is a fine-textured weed with painful burs as you or your pets walk across it. Control it with a broadleafed weedkiller spray, but next year treat earlier in spring, before the burs start to develop.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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