Gardening This Weekend: March 24, 2022

Important Note: Last call for applying pre-emergent weedkiller granules in the I-20 corridor and (in very general terms) 150 miles either side. Panhandle readers: your time is March 25-April 10. This is 7-10 days later than usual, due totally to the late cold spells of early and mid-March. Apply Halts, Dimension or Balan now. Repeat the application 90 days later for a full season of prevention of crabgrass, grassburs and other summertime annual grassy weeds.

Warm-season turfgrasses from sod or plugs. Wait to seed bermuda until May (except in South Texas where planting time will come by mid- to late April).
Warm-season annuals including marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, wax begonias, pentas, angelonias and coleus in the southern two-thirds of the state. Check the 10-day forecast before planting in the I-20 corridor. In South Texas you can add lantanas, periwinkles, moss rose, caladiums, firebush, Gold Star Esperanza, moss rose, hybrid purslane and caladiums to the list, but save them for planting later in April in North Texas.
Tomatoes. Timing is critical. Wait too long and you’ll run into summer’s heat. Stay with small and mid-sized types such as Super Sweet 100, Red Cherry, Yellow Pear, Porter, Roma, Super Fantastic, Better Boy and Celebrity. Large types like Big Boy and Beefsteak are very poor producers in Texas’ heat.
Peppers, bush beans, squash, cucumbers, corn and other warm-season vegetables. Okra, sweet potatoes and southern peas can be planted in South Texas, but wait several weeks in North Texas.

Dead or damaged branches from trees, shrubs, including trunks and branches killed by the past two winters’ cold. Wait to prune oaks until mid-July to lessen the chance of spreading oak wilt. Seal all cut surfaces of oaks immediately with black pruning paint.
Spring-flowering shrubs and vines to reshape as needed. Avoid formal shearing.
Remove spent flowers from spring bulbs such as daffodils and narcissus, but leave foliage intact until it dies to the ground in several weeks. It’s critical in nourishing the bulbs for next year’s blooms.

New annual and perennial transplants with liquid or water-soluble, high-N fertilizer weekly for several feedings.
Lawn with all-nitrogen fertilizer with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form. That presumes that a recent soil test doesn’t suggest some other type of fertilizer. They rarely do.
Same type of all-N food will work with most of your other plants, including trees, shrubs, groundcovers and even annual and perennial flowers and vegetables. One high quality fertilizer may truly “do all.”

Continued Below

Aphids congregating on tender new growth. Most general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticides will control them.
Broadleafed weeds with a spray product containing 2,4-D. Read and follow label directions for best results and to avoid doing damage to desirable trees and shrubs nearby.
Snails and slugs feeding at night. You’ll see their slime trails on the ground and on plant leaves. Dust with a snail/slug bait. Some people use a shallow pan filled with beer or with dry dog food to which they have added water. The pests will be attracted to the smell and will drown.
Cabbage loopers chewing holes in leaves of cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.). Apply B.t. biological worm treatment.
Spider mites on junipers, Italian cypress. I’m seeing a great deal of damage. Don’t put this treatment off. It’s critical.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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