Gardening This Weekend: April 25, 2024

You have one more weekend in April. It looks like rain may be on the horizon, but you can still stop by your favorite garden center between showers.

New turf. Soils are warming now. Sod and plugs are good everywhere. Bermuda seed should do well from I-20 south. Wait another week farther north.
Summer color from wax begonias, impatiens, pentas, ornamental sweet potatoes, angelonias, celosias, fanflowers, cleomes, Dahlberg daisies, firebush, copper plants, Gold Star Esperanza, and lantanas, among many others. You’ll be dazzled by what your nursery has waiting for you. Wait for warmer weather before planting caladiums and vincas.
Hot-weather perennials such as daylilies, cannas, yarrows, salvias, purple coneflowers, mallows, ornamental grasses (in moderation), and others from 1-gallon and larger pots. Supplies are still great, but they’ll begin to thin out soon.
Tropical plants into large patio pots or actually into the ground. List includes, but is not limited to bananas, hibiscus, bougainvilleas, and mandevillas.
Nursery stock. Supplies are still good. Transport the plants home carefully by wrapping and securing them in old sheets or nursery shade fabric or putting them in an enclosed trailer. Highway winds will ruin new foliage.

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Mow lawn frequently to discourage late winter weeds from setting seeds, also to encourage spreading new growth of turfgrass to crowd out summer weeds.
Dead and damaged branches before they break from spring winds and do damage and cause injuries. Hire a certified arborist to remove large limbs and those higher than you can reach from the ground.
Spring-blooming shrubs and vines now that they have finished flowering to reshape them. Avoid formal shearing into cubes and globes.

Turfgrass with all-nitrogen food unless soil test dictates otherwise. 30 to 40 percent of that nitrogen should be in slow-release form.
Trees, shrubs, and groundcovers should be fed with the same type of plant food every 6-8 weeks through the summer.
Annual and perennial flowers and vegetables will almost always need the same fertilizer as the rest of your lawn and landscape.

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Cabbage loopers chewing holes in cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and other cole crops. B.t. biological worm sprays or dusts (all organic) will control them.
Snails, slugs and pillbugs chewing tender new growth of annual flowers and vegetables. Apply Sevin dust or bait or sink a pie tin filled with beer flush with its rim into the soil. They will be attracted to the fermenting smell and will drown.
Take all root rot damage is widespread across Texas in St. Augustine and other grasses. Infected turf has short, very dark roots and is lethargic in greening up to grow. St. Augustine is specifically yellowed in large, irregular patches. The fungicide Azoxystrobin will help, but it is more beneficial in preventing outbreaks than it is in controlling them. That means that applications should be made in late winter. The old remedy of spreading a 1-inch layer of sphagnum peat moss across infected areas does seem to help current outbreaks. Where possible, avoid waterlogged soils. Avoid nitrate fertilizers. Mow frequently to keep turf low and vigorous. The disease should abate as temperatures warm.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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