Gardening This Weekend: October 12, 2023

Many nurseries are marking their plants down. They’ve hung out the banners proclaiming, “Fall is for Planting!” (accurately so!). It’s a great time to be a gardener!

Spring-flowering perennials should be dug and divided now. In fact, it’s getting close to “last call.” The list includes violets, oxalis, candyturf, thrift, iris, daylilies, Shasta daisies, coneflowers and many more.
Trees and shrubs. Fall planting gives them months to establish new roots before summer.
Pansies, violas, snapdragons, pinks and ornamental cabbage and kale for winter color. South Texas gardeners: your local nurseries will have an even wider selection since you’re blessed with even milder winter weather.
Ryegrass seed can still be sown for green turf in winter (but not if you applied pre-emergent herbicide last month).

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Remove spent flower stalks and browned foliage from perennials.
Mow to remove fallen leaves. Bag to be able to put them into the compost or use as mulch beneath shrubs and around perennials. Do not send them to the landfill.
Dig and remove roses infested with rose rosette virus, roots and all. Leaving plants in place allows the virus to spread to others’ roses.

New pansies and other winter color plants with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food for quickest start.
Fescue turf in Northwest Texas (where it’s best adapted) with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer. It grows in fall’s cooler weather.
Other lawn and landscape plants across Texas as soon as possible with high-quality all-nitrogen fertilizer (upwards of 30 to 40 percent of nitrogen in slow-release form) to help them wind down for fall and be ready for spring. Time is quickly running out.

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Brown patch is spreading rapidly in Texas St. Augustine. Circular areas 18 to 24 inches in diameter will turn yellow. Blades will pull loose easily from runners, and you’ll be able to see the decayed areas at the bases of the blades. Apply labeled fungicide as soon as you see the fungus and stop watering in the evenings.
Prune fall webworms out of pecans, persimmons, mulberries and other trees with long-handled pole pruner. Spraying isn’t efficient. Do not attempt to burn them out (way too dangerous).
If you are seeing clover, dandelions, chickweed, and other non-grassy (“broadleafed”) weeds starting to grow in your lawn, apply a product with 2,4-D while the weeds are still growing actively. Read and follow label directions carefully for best results.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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