Gardening This Weekend: November 24, 2020

Even though many of us will be staying home, the next few days are still going to be really busy. Here is the pared-down list of things you’ll want to get done.

Pansies, pinks, snapdragons, ornamental cabbage and kale and other cool-season annual plants. Redo soil from summer plantings before you set new transplants out – add 2 or 3 inches of organic matter and rototill to 8 to 10 inches.
Daffodils and grape hyacinths right away. Wait until last half of December to plant tulips and Dutch hyacinths you’ve been chilling in the refrigerator.
Living Christmas trees, but ask plenty of questions ahead of time. Many types sold as such don’t really do well in Texas. And don’t keep it indoors more than 8 or 10 days. Plants dry out and also become acclimated to warm conditions indoors.

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Trim chrysanthemum, Mexican bush salvia, fall aster and other spent perennial plants back to within 2 to 3 inches of the soil line now that they have finished blooming.
If you can now see tree branches that have sustained damage over the summer, have a certified arborist assess the damage and take any necessary corrective action.

No need to fertilize potted poinsettias, cyclamen and other winter-flowering potted plants. They have been given a slow-release plant food by the grower. Similarly, adding any kind of sugar, bleach or nutrients to a Christmas tree stand is wasted effort, and it risks doing damage to the floor should it all spill.
Winter annuals with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food each time that you water them.

Clover, dandelions, henbit, chickweed and other non-grassy weeds can be controlled by a spray of a broadleafed weedkiller (containing 2,4-D) if applied soon, before winter’s cold sets in to stay. Read and follow label directions.
Houseplants for scale insects, mealybugs, whiteflies and fungal gnats. Talk to your independent retail garden center or experienced hardware store advisor for suggestions on the best controls.
Protect peach and plum trees from leaf curl (peaches) and bacterial stem canker (plums). Apply a copper-based fungicide now. There is no treatment that will help in the spring.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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