Gardening This Weekend: April 8, 2021
Here are the things you’ll want to tackle in this prime time of springtime.
• Shrubs to replace those that were mangled or murdered by February’s extreme cold. If the types that you really want are sold out for the season, don’t settle for something less than the best. Leave the beds bare, or plant annual flowers as spaceholders.
• Groundcovers to take advantage of their burst of spring growth.
• Sod of warm-season lawngrasses. Wait another couple of weeks to start sowing bermudagrass seed.
• Warm-season vegetables: tomatoes (small to mid-sized varieties only), bush beans, squash, cucumbers, corn, peppers. In South Texas: okra, sweet potatoes.
• By now you can probably identify almost all shrubs that were lost in the cold and prune as needed to reshape or remove them. I would still wait to make any corrections on crape myrtles in the northern half of the state, however. Some varieties are still leafing out.
• Spring-blooming shrubs, vines to reshape as soon as they’re finished flowering.
• Mow lawn frequently and at recommended height to discourage weed growth.
• Reshape overgrown houseplants as you repot and bring them outdoors for the summer.
• Turf, landscape trees and shrubs, flowers and even vegetables with all-nitrogen fertilizer to encourage vigorous new growth with improved spring weather.
• Patio pots, hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer with each watering. Incorporate a timed-release form of fertilizer for sustained feeding as well.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Clover, thistles, lawn burweed, chickweed and other broadleafed (non-grassy) weeds: Spray with a 2,4-D based broadleafed weedkiller. It may take a few days to see its impact, but it will do the job. Read and follow label directions.
• There is no similar control for grassy weeds (annual bluegrass, rescuegrass, etc.) now that they are mature. Let them run their course. They will die away as it turns hot over the next few weeks. Your August 25-September 5 application of pre-emergents will prevent their germination for next year.
• Aphids are massed atop tender new growth of many plants now. You can wash them off with a hard stream of water, or most general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticides will control them.