Gardening This Weekend: October 8, 2020

Nurseries are marking their plants down. They’ve hung out the banners proclaiming, “Fall is for Planting!” (and accurately so!). It’s a great time to be a gardener!

Trees and shrubs. Fall planting gives them months to establish new roots before summer. You just read that, didn’t you!
Pansies, violas, snapdragons, pinks and ornamental cabbage and kale for winter color. South Texas gardeners: your local nurseries will have an even wider selection since you’re blessed with even milder winter weather.
Spring-flowering perennials should be dug and divided now. In fact, it’s getting close to “last call.” The list includes violets, oxalis, candyturf, thrift, iris, daylilies, Shasta daisies, coneflowers and many more.
Ryegrass seed can still be sown for green turf in winter (but not if you applied pre-emergent herbicide last month).

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Remove spent flower stalks and browned foliage from perennials.
Mow to remove fallen leaves. Bag to be able to put them into the compost or use as mulch beneath shrubs and around perennials. Do not send them to the landfill.
Dig and remove roses infested with rose rosette virus, roots and all. Leaving plants in place allows the virus to spread to others’ roses.

New pansies and other winter color plants with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food for quickest start.
Fescue turf in Northwest Texas (where it’s best adapted) with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer. It grows in fall’s cooler weather.

Brown patch is spreading rapidly in Texas St. Augustine. I know it is in my lawn. See story in recent e-gardens.
Prune fall webworms out of pecans, persimmons, mulberries and other trees with long-handled pole pruner. Spraying isn’t efficient. Do not attempt to burn them out (way too dangerous).
KR bluestem, a forage grass introduced to improve Texas pastures almost 100 years ago, has run rampant over Texas lawns. It’s difficult to control. See my recent story here.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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