Gardening This Weekend: April 7, 2022
There are tons of things to get done now. Here are the most important.
• New turf from sod or plugs (South Texas by seeding – it’s still too cool in North Texas).
• Warm-season annual flowers and vegetables. You have a 2- or 3-week window for planting vegetable crops. If time gets away from you the heat of late spring and summer will limit crops’ productivity and quality.
• Trees, shrubs, vines and groundcovers. Suggestion: selections in nurseries are at their best on Fridays, before the weekend hoards pick things over. And a warning that selections of the most dependable types are becoming limited just as they were last year. People are still redoing their landscapes from the damage done by the cold of February 2021.
• Continue to remove branches killed or damaged by last year’s cold and this year’s ice. If branches are large or above your head you probably should hire the help of a certified arborist.
• Mow turf regularly as it starts to green up and at recommended height to encourage dense growth.
• Spring-flowering shrubs and vines immediately after they finish blooming to reshape them before their surges of new growth.
• Evergreen shrubs to remove erratic new shoots. Avoid formal shearing whenever possible.
• Lawn with high-quality, all-nitrogen fertilizer (half or more of nitrogen in encapsulated, slow-release form).
• Trees, shrubs with same lawn fertilizer, but be certain it does not contain a weedkiller. Atrazine is especially damaging to trees and shrubs.
• Sidedress rows of vegetables with high-nitrogen fertilizer every 3-4 weeks to keep plants growing actively.
• Liquid root-stimulator fertilizer monthly to trees and shrubs that were dug and relocated into your landscape.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Much of Texas is quite dry this year. Be prepared to water new shrubs and trees thoroughly by hand every 2-3 days this spring and summer to help them establish good roots. Sprinkler irrigation alone is never adequate. Use a water bubbler to allow you to irrigate at full volume without washing the soil. They are occasionally sold in hardware stores and nurseries, but more often you will have to buy them online. (They are not expensive.)
• Snails and slugs on tender new growth. Use Sevin dust or bait applied to the foliage and on top of the soil.
• Cabbage loopers chewing holes in leaves of cabbage and other cole crops. Apply B.t. for control.
• Seridium canker is attacking Italian and Leyland cypress plants again this year. Fungicides are not effective in controlling this very damaging disease.
• Poison ivy, dichondra, dollarweed, bur and white clovers, dandelions and other non-grassy weeds. Treat with a broadleafed weedkiller spray (containing 2,4-D).