Gardening This Weekend: October 14, 2021
This is the most-visited page in e-gardens each week. I take it quite seriously, and I always try to post the most critical things we have on our platters. Here’s what the waiter is serving this weekend.
• Nursery stock as you find plants that were sold out in the spring. This is the very best month of the year to plant trees and shrubs into your landscape. It gives them many months to get established before summer.
• Pansies, violas, pinks, snapdragons, ornamental cabbage and kale and other cold-hardy annual color can be planted now.
• Finish dividing spring-flowering perennials, including violets, candytuft, thrift and Louisiana phlox, Shasta daisies, iris, daylilies, purple coneflowers, gloriosa daisies and others.
• Tulips and Dutch hyacinths can be bought now, while selections are still great, but they need to go into the fridge at 45 degrees for the next two months, then planted mid-December. They will not bloom normally without the “pre-chilling” treatment. Daffodils and grape hyacinths can be planted immediately.
• Erratic and dying shoots from shrubs and vines, but save major reshaping for mid-winter.
• Dead or damaged branches from shade trees before they go bare for the winter.
• Lawn to keep it at the same height you’ve been using all summer and fall. Letting grass grow tall in the fall does not improve its winter hardiness. It actually weakens the grass allowing weeds to invade in the process.
• Winter annuals with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food for quickest possible take off.
• Fescue and rye with high-nitrogen fertilizer to promote vigorous growth this fall.
• You can still fertilize warm-season turfgrasses in South Texas. It’s probably getting too late in northern parts of the state.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• To kill existing turf and weeds in places where you want to create new beds for spring plantings, apply a glyphosate-only herbicide by spraying precisely within the bed’s boundaries. It will kill the vegetation without contaminating the soil, but it must be applied before frost turns the growth brown.
• Brown patch in St. Augustine. (Now called “large patch” by some university turf people.) This fungus will likely be ramping up to full speed across Texas after the rains and with cooler weather. It appears suddenly in round patches, usually in grass that has been wet at night. Affected blades turn yellow, then brown. They pull loose easily from the runners. Treat with an approved fungicide. Azoxystrobin is labeled for the patch diseases in turfgrasses.
• Watch roses for signs of rose rosette virus and destroy affected plants (including roots) at once to limit its spread. Here is information I leave on my website’s home page.