Gardening This Weekend: February 15, 2024
Gardening is picking up speed like a pebble rolling down a mountainside. Let’s see where it needs to stop so we can get some things done.
• Cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower) and Irish potatoes– this is absolutely the prime time for most of Texas. South Texans, you really must hustle! Far North Texans, wait another week or two.
• It’s your last call for digging and transplanting trees and shrubs before buds begin to swell (may be too late in warmer parts of South Texas).
• Last call for setting out fruit and pecan trees and bare-rooted roses.
• Frost-tolerant annuals: petunias, stocks, English daisies, larkspurs, sweet alyssum, among others.
• Do not top crape myrtles. You’ve made it this long without committing this barbaric act. Don’t do it now! We Texans need to do better.
• Shade trees to remove dead or damaged branches while you can still see through the trees’ canopies easily. While it is not recommended that home gardeners prune oaks during the spring due to possibilities of spreading oak wilt, ISA Certified Arborists can do so, especially when there are emergency situations. Always check local city ordinances first, however.
• Rose bushes by 40-50 percent immediately, even if they have started to produce new foliage. You just can’t let them continue to grow larger and larger. Check plants closely for any evidence of rose rosette virus. Remove any infected plants, roots and all.
• Asparagus with all-nitrogen, fast-release fertilizer such as 21-0-0.
• Winter and early spring annual color with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food.
• Rye and fescue turf to stimulate new growth.
• Liquid root stimulator to newly planted and transplanted trees and shrubs.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Broadleafed weedkiller spray (containing 2,4-D) to eliminate non-grassy weeds in lawn, including clover, dandelions, chickweed, thistles, plantain, and others.
• Deep South Texas apply pre-emergent granules Dimension, Halts, or Balan to prevent germination of crabgrass and grassburs. Repeat 90 days later for full season of control. These are safe on any type of lawngrass. In Central Texas your time will come first two weeks of March. Far North Texas apply last two weeks of March. These pre-emergent products must be applied before weed seeds germinate.
• Concentrations of aphids on tender new growth. Wash off with hard stream of water or apply general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticide.
• Apply trunk wrap to newly planted oaks, maples, and Chinese pistachios to prevent sunscald. Leave wrapped for 18 to 24 months. This wrapping is non-negotiable, but the advice is rarely given by nurseries at time of sale.