Gardening This Weekend: April 28, 2022
As you make plans for this weekend’s gardening activities, scan through this list.
• Turfgrass from seed (bermuda), or (all types) sod or plugs. Good soil preparation to a depth of 2-3 inches with a rear-tine rototiller is a key to success with seeds and sod.
• Summertime annuals, including begonias, coleus, nicotianas and impatiens for shade. (Save caladiums for another 2-4 weeks.) Pentas, angelonias, firebush, copper plants, purple fountaingrass, moss rose and hybrid purslane, zinnias, marigolds, gomphrenas, Dahlberg daisies, Gold Star esperanzas.
• Perennials from quart and gallon containers while nurseries have their very best supplies of the year.
• Deadhead spring perennial flowers to remove old flower stalks and seedheads and eventually dying leaves.
• Dead branches from oaks and other trees hurt by the cold of February 2021 and the ice of 2022. If it hasn’t leafed out by now it’s not going to.
• Mow lawn at recommended height. Common bermuda at 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches. Hybrid bermuda heights will depend on the variety, generally 1/4- to 3/4-inch. You will need a reel mower in most cases. Zoysias at 2 to 2-1/2 inches. Buffalograss and fescue at 3 to 4 inches.
• Lawn with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer if you have not already fertilized this spring. Upwards of half of that nitrogen should be in encapsulated or coated slow-release form.
• Annual flowers and vegetables with same type of fertilizer as for lawns on 3- or 4-week intervals. Soil tests have repeatedly shown that most Texas soils have excessive amounts of phosphorus (middle number of the analysis).
• Liquid or water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer for patio containers and hanging baskets. Supplement with timed-released pellets.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Prevent crape myrtle bark scale and crape myrtle aphids, both of which leave a sticky honeydew residue behind, by applying a soil drench of Imidacloprid systemic insecticide soon in South Texas and in mid-May in North Texas. The unsightly black sooty mold fungus grows on this honeydew substrate. To prevent the sooty mold you must prevent the insects. The soil drench should do that for you.
• Chiggers will begin to show up in South Texas soon, in North Texas in a week or two. Be very cautious anytime you step into tall bermudagrass or weeds now through mid-summer. Rather than trying to spray everything around you, it’s usually easier just to apply a DEET repellent to your legs, arms and clothing before you go outdoors. You’ll be protecting yourself from mosquitoes at the same time.
• Poison ivy. Look for leaves with three leaflets, generally on vines, but in open areas they may appear on free-standing low plants. Apply a broadleafed weedkiller (containing 2,4-D) to eliminate it, but remember that all parts of the plant, stem and root tissues included, have the oil that causes the allergic reactions.