Gardening This Weekend: April 21, 2022
If you asked me to list the 12 or 15 most important gardening responsibilities for the last part of April, these would be at the top of my stack.
• Nursery stock while there’s still a reasonable supply. Growers are selling down their spring inventories quickly. If you have types you really, truly do want, get in there now.
• Warm-season annual color so it can get established before it gets hot. Your local Texas Certified Nursery Professional can advise you of the 20 best choices for your part of Texas for the summer weather ahead.
• New turf from sod, plugs or seed. Whichever you choose, prepare the planting bed carefully.
• Spring-flowering shrubs and vines to reshape them and encourage vigorous new growth this season.
• Deadhead spring perennials to remove spent flowers. As old foliage of fall-flowering bulbs turns brown you can remove it.
• Erratic growth on shrubs as well as branches of trees and shrubs that were damaged by last year’s cold or this winter’s ice all can be removed now.
• You may be surprised to find that almost all of your plants, including turf, landscape plants, flowers and vegetables will benefit from an all-nitrogen or high-nitrogen plant food. Soil tests show that nitrogen is usually the only major element that is deficient in most Texas soils. Phosphorus, middle number of the 3-number analysis, is retained in excessive amounts by clay soils.
• Patio pots and hanging baskets with high-nitrogen, water-soluble fertilizer every week or two to keep them growing actively. Supplement it with slow-acting, timed-release fertilizer pellets as well.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Cabbage loopers chewing holes in leaves of broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Apply B.t. (Bacillus thuringiensis) to stop their feeding and kill the larvae without risk to humans.
• Grub worms you find in the soil and June bugs you find flying around porch lights are probably of little concern. See related story from a recent issue.
• Apply broadleafed weedkiller (containing 2,4-D) to eliminate non-grassy weeds such as dandelions, clover, wild violets, dichondra, poison ivy and many others. Read and follow label directions carefully to get best results.