Gardening This Weekend: October 22, 2020
Here is the list of things I would recommend you get done before the cold front rolls into Texas Sunday night and Monday morning.
• Winter color from pansies, violas, pinks, snapdragons, ornamental kale and cabbage. South Texans can also plant sweet alyssum, petunias, stocks, wallflowers, Iceland poppies and ornamental Swiss chard.
• Trees and shrubs. Nurseries have great sales going on now, and planting now gives maximum time for them to establish good roots before next summer’s hot weather.
• Daffodils, narcissus, jonquils and grape hyacinths. Buy top-quality bulbs of varieties known to establish and bloom year after year. If you’re buying tulips and Dutch hyacinths, put them in the refrigerator for at least 45 days at 45F. Plant them during the last two weeks of December.
• Mow lawn at recommended height. Bag clippings to prevent spread of turf diseases. Use shredded grass clippings and tree leaves in compost or as mulch beneath perennial plants.
• Dead or damaged branches from tree limbs while you can easily distinguish them from living limbs.
• Dead stubble from perennial gardens and vegetable plots to keep landscape tidy.
• New annual color transplants with high-nitrogen, water-soluble food to get them off to a quick start. Repeat every couple of weeks.
• Fescue and ryegrass turf with all-nitrogen lawn food containing high percentage of slow-release nitrogen (for sustained feeding).
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Protect tender flower and vegetable plants from frost and freeze (depending on where you are in Texas) early next week. Most of the state will likely have several weeks of frost-free weather after this first encounter with “winter.” If you can get your plants through this one spell, odds are you’ll be able to enjoy them for a while longer.
• Insect pests that are trying to move indoors for the winter. Perimeter applications, both around the foundation and along baseboards will provide sustained control.
• Stinging caterpillars have been common in Texas landscapes the past several weeks. Teach your children and grandkids not to handle caterpillars, and be on the lookout for them yourself as you’re working outdoors.
• Broadleafed weeds are thriving this fall. Control types such as clover, dandelions, henbit, chickweed, plantain and others with a broadleafed weedkiller spray (containing 2,4-D) between now and Thanksgiving.