Gardening This Weekend: March 31, 2022

As we turn another page of the gardening calendar (from Page 27 to Page 28 if you have Neil Sperry’s Lone Star Gardening), you’re going to pick up a new list of things to get done. Here are the ones for this weekend.

Nursery stock as you find the types you’ve been wanting. Don’t delay. There is still very strong demand for the best types.
Turfgrass from sod or plugs.
Warm-season annuals including marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, wax begonias, pentas, angelonias and coleus. As it continues to warm up you can add lantanas, moss rose, firebush, Gold Star esperanza, moss rose and hybrid purslane to the list. Periwinkles and caladiums do better if planted when it’s much warmer – May or even early June.
Tomatoes. Timing is critical. Wait too long and you’ll run into summer’s heat. Stay with small-fruiting types. Cherries, Super Sweet 100, Pears, Roma, Porter, Early Girl, Super Fantastic, Celebrity. Avoid Big Boy, Beeksteak and other large-fruiting types. They will not set fruit well in the Texas heat.
Peppers, bush beans, squash, cucumbers, corn and other warm-season vegetables now except in the Panhandle. Okra, sweet potatoes and southern peas can be planted in South Texas, but wait several weeks in North Texas.

Remove dead or damaged branches from trees and shrubs to minimize damage done during spring wind storms.
Spring-flowering shrubs and vines after they finish their spring flowering to reshape as needed. Avoid formal shearing.

Lawn with all-nitrogen fertilizer with a significant amount of that nitrogen in slow-release form.
Curiously, the same all-N food will work with most of your other plants, including trees, shrubs, groundcovers and even annual and perennial flowers and vegetables.
New annual transplants with liquid or water-soluble, high-N fertilizer every 7-10 days.

Continued Below

Cabbage loopers chewing holes in leaves of Cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.). Apply Bacillus thuringiensis (“B.t.”) biological worm treatment. Be watching for small white butterflies. You will see them a few days before their larvae, the cabbage loopers, hatch from their eggs.
Aphids congregating on tender new growth of flowers, vegetables, shrubs and even trees. Most general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticides will control them.
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 of fermentation and will drown.
Broadleafed weeds such as dichondra, clover, chickweed, dandelions, poison ivy (once it’s growing actively) and thistles with a spray containing 2,4-D. Read and follow label directions for best results and to avoid doing damage to desirable trees and shrubs nearby. A second application may be needed several weeks later.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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