Gardening This Weekend: February 24, 2022

“If it’s Thursday, there must be cold weather.” That seems to be the game plan this year. So I’m going to jump a little farther ahead and give you the guidelines that will pick up once it warms up later this weekend.

Cool-season annual color such as petunias, alyssum, stocks and ornamental Swiss chard to decorate late-winter, early spring gardens.
Leafy and root vegetables in northern half of state. Deep South Texas gardeners can soon begin to plant beans, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, corn and other warm-season vegetables. Check your 14-day forecast before taking the plunge. Use frost cloth to buy yourself a few degrees’ of protection.
Nursery stock as you see types you’re been wanting. Early-spring arrivals are typically larger plants that have been in their containers for a period of time. This year especially stock may be in short supply as consumers and contractors work to redo damaged landscapes. Watch, too, for spring-blooming shrubs that often are only sold at the time that they’re flowering. Get ‘em when you see them. The next day might be too late.

Spring-flowering shrubs and vines as needed to correct erratic growth immediately after they finish blooming.
Finish pruning, reshaping evergreen shrubs immediately, before they invest a lot of effort in new spring growth. Avoid formal shearing whenever possible. Take a look at what the professionals did to help us with multitudes of hollies in McKinney in a story this issue.
Scalp lawn to remove winter-killed stubble and many of the vigorous broadleafed weeds. Use clippings in compost or at an organic matter recycling center. Do not send to the landfill.

Rye and fescue turf with all-nitrogen fertilizer to maximize spring green-up. Wait several weeks to fertilize St. Augustine and bermuda.
Groundcover beds with all-nitrogen lawn fertilizer with a significant percentage of that nitrogen in slow-release form. Early feeding will maximize burst of spring growth.
New annual flower and vegetable transplants with high-nitrogen, liquid fertilizer weekly to get them established and growing.

Continued Below

Spider mites are appearing on junipers and other conifers. Look for grayish-green areas on branches. Thump a branch over white paper. Mites will be nearly microscopic specks that will start to move freely on the paper. Treat entire plant thoroughly with insecticide labeled for spider mite control.
Aphids congregating on tender new growth of shrubs, flowers and vegetables. Wash most of them off with a hard stream of water. If they persist apply a general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticide.
Broadleafed weedkiller spray (containing 2,4-D) to control clover, dandelions, chickweed and other non-grassy weeds. Read and follow label directions for all products intended to kill weeds to be certain you don’t damage desirable trees and shrubs by accident.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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