Gardening This Weekend: February 16, 2023

If you’re serious about gardening, you know that doing the right things is only half of the story. Doing them at the right time is equally critical. Here is this week’s ultra-timely list.

Dig and relocate established trees and shrubs you’re wanting to transplant. It must be done while they’re still dormant. (You may be verging on too late in Deep South Texas already.)
Bare-rooted fruit and pecan trees, grape vines and bramble berries immediately.
Plant Irish potatoes immediately in Central and North Central Texas. Next week along the Red River and a week or two from now in the Panhandle. (It’s very late in South Texas.)
Ditto for planting cabbage and broccoli. Both of those mature fairly quickly. Brussels sprouts and cauliflower take longer and may be even more challenging than usual in most of the state.

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If you’ve waited this long without topping your crape myrtles (a disfiguring and useless habit that needs to be abandoned by all), good work! Keep resisting the urge!
Evergreen shrubs to reshape them. You can reduce their height and width by 25-35 percent, but extreme pruning could risk setting them back to the point of losing them. Lopping shears are the safest way to avoid that issue.
Wait to prune spring-flowering shrubs and vines until just after they finish blooming.
This weekend is absolutely the last call to prune oaks in the Hill Country and North Texas. It’s already late in South Texas where you’ll need to wait until mid-July. Spring is the season when the oak wilt fungus is active. Seal each cut with pruning paint immediately.

Cool-season rye and fescue turf with all-nitrogen fertilizer with half or more of its nitrogen in slow-release form. Wait to fertilize warm-season grass for 3-4 weeks in South Texas and 6 weeks in North Texas.
Apply the same all-nitrogen food to shrub and groundcover beds now to promote vigorous start to spring growth.
Cool-season annual color with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food.

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On the Lookout
Peach and plum fruit spray schedule while trees are in bud, but before blooms open. The second application of malathion or other labeled insecticide would come when three-fourths of the petals have fallen. That spray would be made in late evening, after bee activity has ceased. Repeat the sprays on 10-day intervals until harvest. This is to prevent entry of the plum curculio worms into stone fruits.
Pre-emergent herbicides in 1-2 weeks in South Texas. Watch for details here next week.
Broadleafed weedkiller spray containing 2,4-D to eliminate non-grassy weeds such as clover, dandelion, chickweed and others. Read and follow label directions for best results.
Aphids on tender new growth of flowers and vegetables. There are many labeled insecticides, or you may be able to knock them off with a hard stream of water.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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