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.

Continued Below

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.

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.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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