Gardening This Weekend: April 20, 2023

Make your list of the things you want to accomplish, then put priorities on them. My guess is that what follows will be on many of them.

Tomatoes and peppers (both from transplants) and from seeds: beans, squash, cucumbers, corn, melons and other warm-season vegetables. Plant only small and mid-sized tomato varieties. Large-fruiting types do not produce well in Texas heat. All of these need to be planted as quickly as possible in Central and North Texas. You’re already late in South Texas. Summer heat is your enemy.
Warm-season color from transplants, including marigolds, zinnias, angelonias, fanflower, pentas, cosmos, celosias, purple fountaingrass, wax begonias, impatiens and coleus among others. Wait for warmer soils in North Texas to plant periwinkles, lantanas, copper plants, caladiums and other sub-tropicals.
Turf from sod or plugs, but wait another week or two to sow bermuda from seed in North Texas. You should be fine in South Texas.
Trees, shrubs, groundcovers and other landscaping improvements. Buy a water breaker or bubbler plus a water wand. You’ll want to water your new plants by hand every 2-3 days for their first growing season.

Continued Below

Lawns are slow to green up this year. Be patient. Mow your lawn at the recommended mowing height for your type of turf to keep it short and dense. Tall grass isn’t stronger. It grows weaker, allowing weeds to develop.
Spring-flowering shrubs and vines now that most types have finished their blooming season. Trim with lopping shears and pruning shears, not with hedge trimmers, for the most natural look.
Reshape houseplants as you bring them outdoors for the summer. (Do not put them in direct sunlight. They would sunburn within minutes.)

TAMU soil tests show that most of us should apply high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer (depending on soil test results) to almost all types of plants that we’re growing, whether flowers, fruit, lawns, vegetables, trees or shrubs.
Liquid or water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer to patio pots and hanging baskets every couple of waterings. Let the excess run completely through every month to prevent a build-up of excessive mineral salt.
Begin to apply iron/sulfur products to control iron chlorosis (yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most prominently visible on newest growth first). Keep iron products off concrete, stone and other surfaces that could be stained.

Continued Below

Aphids are congregating all over new growth on many types of plants. Look for pear-shaped bodies with twin “exhaust pipes”. They are communal, so you’ll usually see scores of them together. You can wash aphids off plants with a hard stream or water, or most general-purpose insecticides will eliminate them very quickly.
Snails and slugs eating tender new vegetation at night. Look for shiny “slime trails” on and near the chewed plants. You can control them with Bacillus thuringiensis biological worm killer. You can also position a pie pan flush with the soil line and pour a can of beer into the pan. The pests will be attracted to the aroma of the beer, and they will drown in it.
Apply broadleafed weedkiller (containing 2,4-D) to eliminate dollarweed, dichondra, clover, poison ivy and other non-grassy weeds from your lawn. Your local professional nursery, feed store, or independent hardware store can provide products that will eliminate these weeds without harming nearby trees and shrubs. Read and follow label directions.

Posted by Neil Sperry
Back To Top