Gardening This Weekend: November 9, 2023

There is limited time before we all get caught up in holiday rushes, and then the weather turns unpleasant. That means we need to prioritize our gardening endeavors. Here’s how I’d rank things.

Pansies, pinks, ornamental cabbage and kale and other cool-season annuals now. For the record, planting in large pots allows you to get them up and out of the way of rabbits, a common problem. However, they’ll also be more vulnerable to cold damage in extreme weather, so make provision to move them into protection or cover them.
Daffodils, narcissus, jonquils, grape hyacinths and summer snowflakes now. Last chance to put tulip and Dutch hyacinth bulbs into the refrigerator to give them their 45 days of “pre-chilling” before planting them into the garden toward the end of December. Without the treatment they will not flower properly in Texas.
Trees and shrubs from the nursery. Inventories are shrinking. If you want to take advantage of fall planting to give them a head start on getting established, you must get them planted now.

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Patio plants to reshape them before bringing them inside for the winter.
Mow lawn regularly to keep fallen leaves picked up. If they compact atop the grass, they will encourage development of diseases. Use the leaves as a mulch beneath shrubs or put them into the compost.
Remove and grind stubble from perennial garden, leftover vegetables, and annual beds.
Dead and damaged branches from trees, shrubs, and vines.

Cool-season annual color with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food to get plants off to a quick start.
Compost pile with nitrogen lawn fertilizer to supply microorganisms with the nutrition they need to speed the decay process.
Cool-season grasses fescue and rye with a high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer. They are able to utilize the nitrogen in cooler soils.

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Spray broadleafed weeds (those that aren’t grasses, including henbit, clover, dandelions, thistles and chickweed) with a broadleafed weedkiller containing 2,4-D. Read and follow label directions for the best results. You need to make this application before temperatures turn really cold in a few weeks.
Brown patch (“large patch”) in St. Augustine. Look for browned circles of turf. As the disease develops, the circles may meld together. Apply a labeled turf fungicide to stop its development.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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