Gardening This Weekend: February 22, 2024

Wise gardeners make note of their tasks and stay on time with all their activities. Here are this week’s assignments.

Don’t push your planting season of tender flower and vegetable crops. Late winter warm spells can lead you into trouble. Remember the map of average dates of the last killing freeze we had here last week. If you missed it, check it out now. A mild February can lull you into risky habits. Proceed cautiously.
Leafy and root vegetables in Central and North Central Texas. These plants can withstand any frosts or freezes that might remain. Wait another two or three weeks in the Panhandle.
Nursery stock as your favorites start to show up. I’m hearing that supplies may be limited again this year, so don’t delay. Early-spring arrivals are typically larger plants that have been in their containers for a period of time. Spring-flowering shrubs and vines may only be available for a short while (impulse sales), so shop on Fridays. Trucks have arrived by then, and you’ll get first dibs.

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Scalp your lawn to remove winter-killed stubble and many of the vigorous broadleafed weeds.
Freeze-injured leaves and stems from shrubs, groundcovers, and perennials now before spring growth begins. If you notice you’re cutting into green stem tissues don’t cut any farther unless it’s necessary to reshape damaged plants.
Spring-flowering shrubs and vines as needed to correct erratic growth immediately after they finish blooming.

Rye and fescue turf with all-nitrogen fertilizer to maximize spring green-up. Wait several weeks to fertilize St. Augustine and bermuda.
Groundcover beds with all-nitrogen lawn fertilizer with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form. Early feeding will maximize burst of spring growth.
New annual flower and vegetable transplants with high-nitrogen, liquid fertilizer each time that you water them to get them established and growing.

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Fruit spray program while trees are in full bloom. University horticulture websites ( will have the full instructions for each type of crop, but spray program begins while trees are in full bud.
Aphids congregating on tender new growth of shrubs, annual flowers, and vegetables, also perennials, even trees. Where possible, you may be able to wash them off with a hard stream of water out of the hose. General-purpose organic or inorganic insecticides make easy work of them as well.
Broadleafed weedkiller spray to control non-grassy weeds such as henbit, chickweed, clover, dandelions, and wild carrots, among others. These materials usually contain 2,4-D and two other active ingredients. Read and follow label directions carefully for best results.
Scalp lawn to remove winter-killed stubble and many of the broadleafed weeds. It doesn’t have to be done this early, but should be completed by end of month in South Texas, early March in North Texas. Use clippings in compost. Do not send to landfill.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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