Gardening This Weekend: November 17, 2022

It’s been cool, cloudy and even wet for big parts of the past week across Texas, but good times will come again before mid-winter. Here are the prime things to get done starting as soon as this weekend.

Nursery stock. These plants may be in the very back of the garden center to make room for the arriving Christmas trees. If they are, odds are that the trees and shrubs will have been marked down considerably. Except for types that are tender in your area, planting at this time is just fine.
Cool-season color, including pansies, violas, pinks, snaps, ornamental cabbage and kale, and in protected areas, sweet alyssum, Iceland poppies, wallflowers and “hardy” cyclamen. Let your local Texas Certified Nursery Professional guide you as to the best types for your locale.
Daffodils and grape hyacinths now. Leave tulips and Dutch hyacinths in the refrigerator at 45 degrees until mid- to late December. The “pre-chilling” will fool them into thinking they’ve had a real winter.

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Continue mowing your lawn at the recommended height to remove fallen leaves. If there are too many to mulch back into the lawn, blow them onto the driveway, then mow them to shred them. Bag them and use them as needed over the winter to protect pansies and other tender flowers, also to slow growth of weeds beneath shrubs.
Remove rose bushes that have been infected with rose rosette virus. This fatal disease has been around for decades and is well known internationally. Most recently it has been most prevalent in the DFW Metroplex and its surroundings, although it has spread across Texas as well. Click for more information. I leave this archived on my website.
Remove dead and damaged branches, even entire trees before they fall and cause harm or injury. Leave major removals to certified arborists who have the equipment and experience to do the job safely and correctly.

Pansies, pinks and other winter color with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to keep them growing vigorously. Failure to feed adequately is a common cause of poor plant performance.
Ryegrass and fescue (cool-season grasses) are growing well at these cool temperatures. Feed them now with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen lawn food. Water immediately after feeding.

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Fire ant mounds that may have sprung up following rains of the last several weeks. Treat with one of the extended-control, area-wide baits for best results.
Broadleafed weedkiller spray on a sunny, warm and relatively still day to kill cool-season broadleafed weeds before winter moves in. Read and follow label directions.
Crickets, spiders and other home-invading pests. Check weather stripping and replace as needed. Seal cracks in caulk that may have opened up during drought. Remove mulch from perimeter of house’s foundation and apply a band treatment of properly labeled insecticide. Spray around baseboards and beneath kick plates in kitchens and baths.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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