Gardening This Weekend: December 3, 2020

It’s been a good bit cooler this week, and more is yet to come. Here is your list of critical tasks for the upcoming weekend.

Daffodils, jonquils, narcissus and grape hyacinth bulbs. Because soils have been warm recently, leave tulips and Dutch hyacinths chilling in the refrigerator for at least another 10 or 15 days before planting into the garden. (That’s even if they’ve had the required 45 days at 45 degrees.)
Pansies, violas, pinks, ornamental cabbage and kale, snapdragons and other winter annual color. Plant in well-draining beds prepared with several inches of organic matter.
Living Christmas tree. Ask your local independent retail garden center operator to show you only types that are perfectly adapted to your part of Texas. We’ve made some mistakes planting types like Eldarica pines and Leyland cypress that cropped up with fatal flaws 20 or 30 years after we got excited about them.

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Lawn to remove fallen leaves. Bag them and use them as mulch or in compost pile.
Trees to remove damaged and dead branches that could fall in winter storms. If that pruning would involve climbing, hire a certified arborist to do the work for you.
Shrubs to correct erratic growth, but save major reshaping for later in the winter (January).

Pansies and other winter color plants with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food each time that you water them.
Houseplants sparingly. Once monthly will probably be adequate during dark days of mid-winter.

Aphids congregating on tender new growth of pansies and even late-season growth of shrubs in South Texas can be knocked off with hard stream of water.
Broadleafed weeds in turf in southern half of the state this weekend, including dandelions, clover, henbit and chickweed. Apply herbicide containing 2,4-D during warm, dry spell. There may even be one or two more times in northern parts of state before winter arrives to stay. Read and follow label directions carefully.
Mistletoe should be removed from tree branches as soon as you see it, preferably while it is still young. Use long-handled pole pruner. There is no spray to do the job.
Remove rose bushes (roots and all) that are infested with rose rosette virus. See details I have left archived on my website.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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