Gardening This Weekend: March 21, 2024

Check through this compilation to see what you need to accomplish the next several days. Who knows? Maybe you can get ahead of the game!

Tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, squash, and corn soon in the broad belt of Central Texas. Those, plus peppers, melons, sweet potatoes, and eggplant in South Texas. Wait to plant okra and southern peas until soils have warmed. Wait to plant all of them until April in the Panhandle.
Warm-season annual color as temperatures rise. You’re fine to do so in South Texas now. You might wait a week or two in North Texas and then check the 10-day forecast just to be sure.
Trees, shrubs, and other nursery stock as you’re able to get out to shop. Supplies are at their best this time of year. Nurseries are less crowded during the weekdays.
Sod in most of the state now but rototill the ground to 2 inches prior to planting. Rake to establish a smooth planting bed.

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Spring-flowering shrubs and vines immediately after they finish blooming. Remove errant branches. Do not shear these plants. Maintain natural growth forms.
Mow lawn to eliminate many of the rank spring weeds. Mow at the recommended height to keep the turf low and dense.

All spring plantings with a food that’s high in nitrogen, with upwards of half that nitrogen in slow-release, encapsulated or coated form. Most Texas soils already have excessive amounts of phosphorus, middle number of the fertilizer analysis. Soil tests from Texas A&M’s fine lab have warned us for years that many of us shouldn’t be adding any more phosphorus to our garden soils.
Spring-flowering shrubs and vines after pruning to stimulate new growth for this season.
Patio pots and hanging baskets with water-soluble, high-nitrogen food each time that you water them. Use that same plant food to get new annual transplants off to a rapid start.

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Henbit and several other cool-season broadleafed weeds can be eliminated simply by mowing regularly. They are weak growers and won’t have the vigor to grow back.
Chickweed, dandelions, clover, dichondra, and dollarweed can be controlled with an application of broadleafed weedkiller (containing 2,4-D). Read and follow label directions carefully for best results. Small droplets that coat the weeds’ leaves are most effective.
If you have grassy and broadleafed weeds sprouting up in stone and concrete paver patios, walks, and driveways, apply a glyphosate-only herbicide to eliminate them. You’re looking for a spray that contains no other active ingredients. The blends have herbicides that contaminate the soil and can persist for many months. Glyphosates are contact-only and therefore are active only through the leaves on which they are sprayed.
Take all root rot (TARR) has become common in St. Augustine in recent years. It may leave irregular patches of turf yellowed and lethargic. The fungicide Azoxystrobin is labeled for its control and has proven to be effective.
Aphids congregate on tender new growth of many types of plants. Colors will vary, but all will have pear-shaped bodies and twin “exhaust pipes” on either side. They are easily controlled with almost any organic or inorganic insecticide. You may even be able to wash them off with a hard stream of water.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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