Gardening This Weekend
This week’s record cold has thrown things way off schedule. Spring is still likely to arrive on time, but many of the things we already had done now need to be done again. Take a quick look.
• Leafy and root vegetables now. If you had onions and snap peas planted, and if they’re browned, you’re too late to replant them in South Texas, and it’s a gamble in Central Texas as well. It will get too hot before they mature. Cole crops and Irish potatoes should be planted at once across most of the state. Carrots, radishes, beets, turnips and leaf lettuce should be planted now in most of the state, but in a couple of weeks along the Red River and in the Panhandle.
• Frost-tolerant annuals such as petunias, larkspur, sweet alyssum, stocks, wallflowers and English daisies can be planted as soon as things calm down from this current chaos.
• Last call for dormant-season transplanting of established trees, shrubs. They must be moved before new growth begins.
• Dig and divide mums, mallows, cannas, fall asters and other fall-flowering perennials before they start growing. They may already have started in South Texas, but they might have had their minds changed for them.
• Wait to prune any browned foliage that has happened over the past 10 days. See related story this issue.
• Spring-flowering shrubs and vines immediately after they finish blooming. List includes flowering quince, camellias, azaleas, Carolina jessamine, wisteria, bridal wreath and others. Prune only as needed to remove rogue growth.
• Bare-rooted and balled-and-burlapped fruit and shade trees to compensate for roots lost in their digging. Do so by removing 25-40 percent of internal stem growth and unwanted branches, also by pruning fruit trees back to begin creating “scaffold” branching structure.
• Ryegrass and fescue cool-season grasses with all-nitrogen lawn food containing a high percentage of slow-release nitrogen. That might help them green back up again after the cold.
• Cool-season color plants, also new vegetable transplants and container plants with water-soluble, high-nitrogen plant food every two weeks after you plant them. (That won’t be right away, but make your plans and have your fertilizer ready. We’re going to have some catching up to do.)
• Newly planted shade and fruit trees with liquid root stimulator. If they were dug before being planted, apply the root stimulator monthly this first year.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Wrap trunks of new oaks, Chinese pistachios, maples to protect them from sunscald and subsequent invasion by borers.
• Aphids congregating on tender new growth of many types of plants. They are pear-shaped and BB-sized or smaller. Their populations will rebuild quickly after weather starts to warm.
• Apply broadleafed weedkiller spray (but not “weed-and-feed” products) to control clover, dandelions, chickweed and other non-grassy weeds. Look for types that contain 2,4-D as the sole or one of the active ingredients.