Gardening This Weekend: March 25, 2021
Things are coming in rapid speed now. Here they are as I see them.
• Nursery stock. Supplies are dwindling rapidly due to all of us wanting to replant for things that we lost.
• Tomatoes. Getting them into the garden now is absolutely essential. Stay with small and mid-sized varieties such as Celebrity, Tycoon, Porter, Roma, Super Fantastic, Sweet 100, Red Cherry and Yellow Pear. Avoid large-fruiting types such as Big Boy and Beefsteak for sure!
• Other warm-season vegetables including peppers, bush beans, squash, cucumbers and corn.
• Lawngrasses. Sod or plugs of St. Augustine, bermuda, zoysia. Wait for warmer soils to seed bermuda.
• Warm-season annuals including marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, wax begonias, pentas, angelonias and coleus. In South Texas you can add lantanas, firebush, Gold Star Esperanza, moss rose and hybrid purslane to the list, but save them for planting later in April in North Texas.
• Continue pruning to remove dead and crisp branches from shrubs if you’re pretty sure it won’t be budding out.
• If you’re having to remove 90 percent of any shrub because you see a few green sprouts at its very base, at least allow yourself to think about whether you might want to replace it instead of waiting for it to regrow.
• Note: crape myrtles are the last woody plants to leaf out. Wait to do any pruning of them. It’s still too soon to know.
• Mow lawn at recommended height regularly to encourage low, spreading growth that will crowd out the weeds.
• Annual and perennial transplants with liquid or water-soluble, high-N fertilizer weekly for several feedings. That will get them off to a quick start.
• Lawn with all-nitrogen fertilizer with as much as half of that nitrogen in slow-release form.
• Same type of all-N food will work with most of your other plants, including trees, shrubs, groundcovers and even annual and perennial flowers and vegetables. One high quality fertilizer may truly “do all.”
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Broadleafed weeds such as clover, dandelions, plantain, chickweed and others with a spray product containing 2,4-D. Read and follow label directions for best results and to avoid doing damage to desirable trees and shrubs nearby.
• Snails and slugs feeding at night. You’ll see their slime trails on the ground and on plant leaves. Dust with a snail/slug bait. Some people use a shallow pan filled with beer or with dry dog food to which you’ve added water. The pests will be attracted to the smell and will drown.
• Fire ant mounds. Use individual mound treatments near high-traffic areas (walks, patios, etc.) and area-wide baits elsewhere. Use baits around perimeters of vegetable plantings, but not within the actual garden.
• Cabbage loopers chewing holes in leaves of cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.). Apply B.t. biological worm treatment.
• Aphids congregating on tender new growth. Most general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticides will control them, or you can blast them away with a hard stream of water.