Gardening This Weekend: November 24, 2022

This time of year finds our time filled with family, church, school and holiday things. I’ll pare our list of gotta-do things down to the minimum. And here it is.

Pansies, pinks, snapdragons, ornamental cabbage and kale and other cool-season annual plants. Redo soil from summer plantings before you set new transplants out add 2 or 3 inches of organic matter and rototill to 8 to 10 inches.
Living Christmas trees but ask plenty of questions ahead of time. Many types sold as such don’t really do well in Texas. And don’t keep it indoors more than 8 or 10 days. Plants dry out, also become acclimated to warm conditions indoors.
Daffodils and grape hyacinths right away. Wait another couple of weeks to plant tulips and Dutch hyacinths you’ve been chilling in the refrigerator. If it should turn warm it could reverse the effects of chilling you’ve been giving them in the fridge.

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Holiday greenery from evergreens, hollies, etc. It won’t last more than a week or so indoors, so wait as long as you can to harvest it. Putting the cut ends into vases of water will prolong their lives by a week or two.
If you can now see tree branches that have sustained damage over the past 22 months from cold or drought, have a certified arborist assess the damage and take any necessary corrective action.
Trim chrysanthemum, Mexican bush salvia, fall aster and other perennial plants back to within 2 to 3 inches of the soil line now that they have all finished blooming.

No need to fertilize potted poinsettias, cyclamen and other winter-flowering potted plants. They have been given a slow-release plant food by the grower. Similarly, adding any kind of sugar, bleach or nutrients to a Christmas tree stand is wasted effort, and it risks doing damage to the floor should it all spill.
Winter annuals with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food each time that you water them.

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Clover, dandelions, henbit, chickweed and other non-grassy weeds can be controlled by a spray of a broadleafed weedkiller (containing 2,4-D) if applied soon, before winter’s cold sets in to stay. Read and follow label directions.
Houseplants for scale insects, mealybugs, whiteflies and fungal gnats. Talk to your independent retail garden center for advice on the best controls.
Protect peach and plum trees from leaf curl (peaches) and bacterial stem canker (plums). Apply a copper-based fungicide now. There is no treatment that will help in the spring.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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