Gardening This Weekend: November 5, 2020

It can be cool and cloudy this time of the year, or it can be absolutely wonderful for working outdoors. Here are the things you’ll want to get done over the next several days since the weather seems intent on cooperating.

Pansies, pinks, ornamental cabbage and kale and other cool-season annuals now. For the record, planting in large pots allows you to get them up and out of the way of rabbits, a common problem. However, they’ll also be more vulnerable to cold damage in extreme weather.
Daffodils, narcissus, jonquils, grape hyacinths and summer snowflakes bulbs now. This is just about your last chance to put tulip and Dutch hyacinth bulbs into the refrigerator to give them their 45 days of “pre-chilling” before planting them into the garden toward the end of December. Without that cold treatment they will not flower properly in Texas.
Trees and shrubs from the nursery. Inventories are shrinking. If you want to take advantage of fall planting to give them a head start on getting established, you must get them planted now.

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Mow lawn regularly to keep fallen leaves picked up. If they compact atop the grass they will encourage development of diseases. Use the leaves as a mulch beneath shrubs or put them into the compost.
Stubble from perennial garden, leftover vegetables and annual beds. Shred it all and put it into the compost pile.
Dead and damaged branches from trees, shrubs and vines.
Patio plants to reshape them before bringing them inside for the winter.

Cool-season grasses fescue and rye with a high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer. They are able to utilize the nitrogen in cooler soils. It is too late to feed warm-season grasses.
Cool-season annual color with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to get plants off to a quick start.
Compost pile with nitrogen fertilizer to supply microorganisms with the nutrition they need to speed the decay process.

Brown patch in St. Augustine. Look for browned circles of turf. As the disease develops, the circles may meld together. Apply Azoxystrobin fungicide to stop its development.
Spray broadleafed weeds (those that aren’t grasses, including henbit, clover, dandelions, thistles and chickweed) with a broadleafed weedkiller containing 2,4-D. Read and follow label directions for the best results. You need to make this application before temperatures turn really cold in a few weeks. Your next opportunity won’t come until February or March.
Houseplants you’re bringing indoors to be sure you don’t carry pests inside with them. Watch especially for whiteflies, mealybugs and scale insects, and treat while you still have them out on the patio or in the garage. Be on the lookout for fire ants and roaches that may have moved into their potting soil.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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