Gardening This Weekend: November 11, 2021
So far we’ve had some rather pleasant days all things considered. A little more rain would be nice, but we’ve been able to move forward with fall landscaping projects. Here’s this week’s list of assignments.
• Watch for woody plants you’ve been wanting all season since the freeze. Nurseries have finally built up their supplies. This is a fine time to plant them into your gardens so they can begin getting established before spring.
• Pansies, violas, pinks, snapdragons and ornamental cabbage and kale for cool-season color. Readers in South Texas can also include petunias, stocks, larkspurs, calendulas, sweet alyssum, wallflowers, English daisies, Swiss chard varieties Rhubarb and Bright Lights, cyclamen, Iceland poppies and other frost-hardy plants.
• Dead branches from shade trees while you can still identify them before winter. They may be severely compromised and weakened and could break over the winter. Have a certified arborist remove dead trees. There is an art and a science to taking trees down safely.
• Reshape patio plants as you bring them indoors for the winter. Save only the ones that are most critical to you. Don’t worry with types that can easily be replaced in the spring.
• Dead stubble from perennial gardens once freezes have killed things back for the winter.
• Pansies and other winter color annuals with high-nitrogen, water-soluble fertilizer each time that you water them. That’s especially important for plants you’re growing in pots, since nutrients drain away quickly.
• Winter grasses (ryegrass and fescue) with all-nitrogen lawn food during this, their most active period of growth. In the case of ryegrass that has been over-seeded into an existing lawn of St. Augustine or bermuda, apply the fertilizer at half the recommended rate.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Apply a broadleafed weedkiller spray (containing 2,4-D) to eliminate existing non-grassy weeds such as dandelions, clover, henbit and chickweed in your lawn. Do so now, before the weather turns cold. Once winter hits you will have to wait until February to use these sprays. Read and follow label directions for best results. I prefer to use a more precise 2-gallon tank sprayer rather than a hose-end sprayer.
• Brown patch is active in St. Augustine lawns in Texas. The grass turns yellow, then brown in circular patches. Blades pull loose from runners with gentle tugs. Apply a labeled turf fungicide from your local independent retail garden center or hardware store.
• Monitor houseplants for insects that may have come indoors when you moved them inside. Watch especially for spider mites, scales and mealy bugs. Take the plants back outdoors to treat on a warm day, but keep them out of direct sunlight and wind.