Gardening This Weekend: April 11, 2024

Here are your main goals for this second big gardening weekend of April.

Warm-season vegetables immediately, including tomatoes (small and mid-sized varieties set fruit much better than large types), peppers, green beans, squash, cucumbers, and corn. This is just about last call for planting many of these crops this spring.
Warm-season annual color plants. Some of the best and most popular: marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, wax begonias, coleus, angelonias, purple fountaingrass and pentas.
Wait for warmer weather to plant copper plants, firebush, caladiums, Gold Star Esperanza, periwinkles, and lantanas. (OK to plant now in Deep South Texas.)
Nursery stock. Buy now, while supplies are at their best. Many nurseries offer delivery and even planting services. Buy from a local independent garden center where you can find a Texas Certified Nursery Professional. That will ensure you’re getting the best in help and in plant and product selection.
New turf from sod or plugs. (Wait to plant bermuda from seed for another couple of weeks.)

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Spring-flowering shrubs and vines as soon as they have finished blooming.
Trim erratic new growth off shrubs.
Reshape houseplants you have brought outside for the summer.
Some crape myrtles are still showing dead top growth killed by cold weather. Whether those are trunks that were killed in 2021 or 2022, or even this past winter, if there is dead tissue in crape myrtles it should be removed so the plants can be reshaped and retrained this growing season. It’s amazing how quickly a lovely crape myrtle can be brought back if we get rid of dead branches and stubs.

Landscape and garden plants and turf with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen plant food (Upwards of half or more of the nitrogen in encapsulated or coated, slow-release form).
Hanging baskets and container plants with high-nitrogen, water-soluble food.
Patches of yellowed St. Augustine are probably being attacked by take all root rot and not by iron chlorosis, so at least for now, resist the urge to apply an iron supplement.

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Aphids clustering on tender new growth. Treat with almost any general-purpose insecticide, or wash off with a hard stream of water. If you’re ever in doubt as to whether you have aphids, they’re pear-shaped and usually BB-sized, always with twin “exhaust pipes” down their sides. They come in all colors, but green, creamy white, yellow, orange, and black predominate. You’ll usually have one species of one color.
Dandelions, dichondra, thistles, poison ivy, clover, and other non-grassy weeds with a broadleafed weedkiller spray.
Powdery mildew and black spot with labeled fungicides.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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