March 10 2007 Timely Tips




March 10, 2007

Establish or renovate the lawn as needed. Re-sod or replant with turfgrasses adapted to this part of Texas and suited to the planting location (shade or sun). In areas where grass is difficult to grow (shade), consider planting a dependable groundcover such as English ivy, Asian jasmine, Vinca minor, Mondo grass, Aspidistra or Blue Shade. For best pest resistance use ONLY the variety Flora-TAM when re-sodding semi-shaded areas with St. Augustine.

Perennials which can be planted now include perennial phlox such as ‘John Fanick’ and ‘Victoria’, iris and daylilies. Roses can still be planted. For the best selection of the most enduring roses for Texas, see the rose information at:

If you didn’t get around to pruning your spring flowering and evergreen shrubs during February, do it in early through mid- March. However, be sure to prune spring flowering shrubs after they have bloomed. To encourage new growth cutback old chrysanthemum plants. A severe pruning now of overgrown beds of groundcovers will remove woody stems and induce new, compact growth from the base whereas later pruning will retard growth. Remove winter damaged plants once you can distinguish the dead wood from the greenwood. Trim over-wintered houseplants to remove lanky growth before moving them outdoors.

March is a major gardening month in our area. The weather stabilizes and by the end of the month it is warm enough to consider the warm weather plants. The average last freeze date occurs during mid-month. This is the time to prepare beds for planting flowers and vegetables. You may want to go in with a neighbor and rent a tiller for this laborious task-of course a shovel or spading fork will do the same job, it’s just harder.

David Rodriguez is County Extension Agent-Horticulture with Texas Cooperative Extension in Bexar County. For more information, call the Master Gardener “Hotline” (210) 467-6575 or visit our County Extension website at

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