Gardening This Weekend: November 18, 2021
Here are the things I’d deem to be most critical for the several days ahead.
• Pansies and other winter color plants. Plant in raised beds of well-prepared, highly organic soil. They’re also outstanding in pots.
• Tulips and Dutch hyacinths must have 45 days in the fridge before you plant them outdoors by the end of the year. This is just about your last call to get that done. Daffodils and grape hyacinths can be planted at any time in the next 4 to 6 weeks.
• Trees and shrubs can still be planted now. Your favorite nursery may have sold down on their supplies, but many others have maintained their inventories to some degree, knowing that people are still trying to refurbish their landscapes from the damage of last February.
• Mow lawn to remove fallen tree leaves. Use them in the compost or mulch shrubs and perennials with them.
• Shrubs to remove dead and damaged branches, also to remove erratic new growth from this past summer.
• Trim to re-shape foliage plants you’ve brought in from the patio for winter.
• Ryegrass and fescue (cool-season grasses) with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen lawn food. Water immediately after feeding.
• Pansies, pinks and other cool-season annuals with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to keep them growing vigorously. Failure to feed adequately is a common cause of poor plant performance.
• Houseplants monthly with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food at half the recommended rate. Your goal for the winter is to maintain them status quo, not to encourage them to grow while they’re in the darker conditions indoors.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• If you have trees that were killed or severely damaged by the cold of last February, you should have large branches or entire trees removed to prevent damage of falling limbs. These trees are extremely weakened and you should not wait.
• Watch houseplants closely for signs of scale insects, mealybugs, whiteflies and spider mites. These pests commonly come in from outdoors when we bring plants inside for the winter. If needed, take plants back into garage or out onto shaded patio to spray before weather turns really cold.
• Broadleafed weedkiller spray on a sunny, warm and relatively still day to kill cool-season broadleafed weeds before winter settles in. Read and follow label directions.