Gardening This Weekend: April 1, 2021
Here are the critical tasks for this first weekend of April.
• Warm-season annuals including marigolds, zinnias, cockscomb, cosmos, pentas, angelonias, coleus, wax begonias and purple fountaingrass among others.
• South Texas gardeners plant lantanas, periwinkles, moss rose, hybrid purslane, firebush, Gold Star esperanza and copper plants. Wait until later in month to plant those in North Texas.
• Warm-season vegetables. Plant tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash, cucumbers, corn. Stay with small- and mid-sized tomatoes for best production. Large types like Beefsteak and Big Boy don’t set fruit well in Texas.
• Warm-season grasses from sod. In South Texas plant bermudagrass from seed. Wait until later in month to seed bermuda in North Texas.
• Winter-killed stubble from shrubs, groundcovers. By now you should be able to tell if branches or entire plants are going to sprout out again.
• Prune and re-train spring-blooming shrubs and vines that still managed to flower in spite of the cold.
• Leave foliage in place on bulbs, even if it’s somewhat browned and even if they didn’t bloom perfectly. They need it to store food for next year.
• Lawn with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form.
• Same lawn fertilizer to all trees and shrub and groundcover plantings. It will also help damaged plants begin to recover. Have soils tested by TAMU Soil Testing Laboratory every 3-4 years to monitor changes in nutrients.
• Water-soluble, high-nitrogen plant food to patio pots, hanging baskets, new annual flower and vegetable transplants to get them off to a quick start.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Aphids congregating on tender new growth of shrubs, perennials and other plants. They are always pear-shaped, but colors will be green, red, brown or creamy yellow. Try blasting them off with hard stream of water. If that fails, most general-purpose organic and inorganic insecticides will eliminate them.
• Cabbage loopers on leaves of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and other cole crops. Apply B.t. biological worm spray.
• Clover, dandelions, dollarweed, dichondra, poison ivy and other non-grassy weeds with a broadleafed weedkiller spray containing 2,4-D. Read and follow label directions for best results.
• Snails, slugs and pillbugs devouring tender new growth. Apply Sevin dust or bait to plants, soil. These feed primarily at night.