Gardening This Weekend: March 4, 2021

By now you have the engines running. You’re ready to mow, blow, trim and grow! You want to tidy things up from the cold, and you want to look ahead to verdant times of the spring yet ahead. Here are this week’s assignments.

Frost-tolerant annuals are still advised in northern two-thirds of Texas. Warm-weather types in southern third of the state.
Warm-season vegetables in the southern third of the state. Leafy and root crops in the rest (cooler) regions.
Nursery stock while supplies are at their best. Last year’s huge volume of sales as folks spruced up their landscapes coupled with demands to repair freeze damage from this winter may combine to give us limited supplies. Be patient with your retail nursery professionals. They’re trying their best.

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As new growth becomes evident (or fails to do so), monitor winter damage to shrubs, vines and groundcovers. Tidy them up now, before new growth commences. Remove types that were killed or damaged beyond repair.
Spring-flowering shrubs and vines immediately after they finish blooming, even if this year’s blooms are abnormal because of the cold. Reshape them to keep them in bounds, but avoid formal pruning whenever possible.

New annual flowers and vegetables at time of planting with liquid high-nitrogen fertilizer to promote quick establishment. Follow-up feedings should be with all-nitrogen or high-nitrogen fertilizers you intend to use on your lawn (not “weed-and-feed” types).
Lawns in Deep South Texas with high-nitrogen fertilizer in sandy soils, all-nitrogen for clay soils due to their retention of phosphorus to excessive levels. Wait one month to fertilize turf in northern two-thirds of state. There is nothing to be gained by rushing the feeding. The grass will not grow until soils warm a good bit.
Shrubs and groundcover beds with same type of high-quality fertilizer you would use for your turfgrass (no weedkiller added). This can be applied soon to promote new growth as plants recover from damage of the cold.

Pre-emergent granules should be completed this weekend in South Texas, applied in the next 10 days in Central and North Central Texas, between March 10 and 20 in North Texas and in late March in far North Texas to prevent germination of grassburs and crabgrass. Dimension, Balan and Halts are the three types that are most commonly available. (Don’t anguish over exactly where your county falls. It’s not that precise so long as you don’t wait too long. Better to be a week too early than a few days too late.)
Broadleafed weedkiller (containing 2,4-D) to eliminate non-grassy weeds such as chickweed, dandelions, clover, dichondra, plantain, wild violets, wild onions and lawn burweed (see related story on this weed this issue). Don’t mow for several days before or after you treat. Don’t treat if rain is expected within 24-48 hours.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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