Gardening This Weekend: October 20, 2022

Here’s your short list of things to accomplish within the next several days. Time’s running short, and these are the “gotta-dos.”

Trees and shrubs. Watch for fall sales going on now. Planting now gives maximum time for them to establish good roots before next summer’s hot weather.
Winter and spring color from pansies, violas, pinks, snapdragons, ornamental kale and cabbage. South Texans can also plant sweet alyssum, petunias, stocks, wallflowers, Iceland poppies and ornamental Swiss chard.
Daffodils, narcissus, jonquils and grape hyacinths. Buy top-quality bulbs of varieties known to establish and bloom year after year. If you’re buying tulips and Dutch hyacinths, put them in the refrigerator for at least 45 days at 45F. Plant them during the last two weeks of December.

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Dead or damaged branches from tree limbs while you can easily distinguish them from living limbs.
Dead stubble from perennial gardens and vegetable plots to keep landscape tidy.
Mow lawn at recommended height right up to first freeze. Bag clippings to prevent spread of weed seeds and turf diseases. Use shredded grass clippings and tree leaves in compost or as mulch beneath perennial plants.

Fescue and ryegrass turf with all-nitrogen lawn food containing high percentage of slow-release nitrogen (for sustained feeding).
New annual color transplants with high-nitrogen, water-soluble food to get them off to a quick start. Repeat every couple of weeks.
One last feeding for a while to patio pots and hanging baskets that you intend to bring indoors for the winter. They will go into “suspended vegetation” over the winter. You want them to maintain vigor without trying to grow luxuriantly in darker indoor conditions.

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Broadleafed weeds are thriving this fall. Control types such as clover, dandelions, henbit, chickweed, plantain and others with a broadleafed weedkiller spray (containing 2,4-D) between now and Thanksgiving.
Be ready to protect tender flower and vegetable plants from frost and freeze when they do roll into your part of Texas. If you can get your plants through early exposures, odds are you’ll be able to enjoy them for a while longer.
Insect pests that are trying to move indoors for the winter. Perimeter applications, both around the foundation and along baseboards will provide sustained control.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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