October 4 2008 Timely Tips




October 4, 2008

Remember: “fall is for planting.” Many nurseries and garden centers are passing on the savings to you, the customer to make room for Christmas trees. The cooler fall weather is the ideal time to establish plants throughout the winter season. This leads to optimal spring growth and development. New trees, shrubs, and most landscape plants would be happier in being established throughout our mild winters then in our extremely hot summers.

If you haven’t done so yet, get those strawberry transplants in the ground soon. Plant the newest Extension varieties, Chandler and Seascape. Make sure from now to the end of December, that all flowers and the first two flushes of long shoots are pinched off. This will put energy back into the plant’s crown so it potentially can produce up to one pint of fruit per plant starting around April of next year.

Look to add to your vegetable garden within the next couple weeks, transplants of Chinese cabbage, spinach, and collards as well as direct seeding of chard, mustard greens, and lettuce. Greens are always nutritious and add flavor to any meal.

We need to put all established landscape plants like trees, shrubs, and turfgrass happily to sleep for the winter with an ample food supply, which provides for a better spring green up. Fertilize with a slow release nitrogen formulation such as 19-5-9, 18-6-12 or a 15-5-10.

One of the best ways to minimize and control weeds in your turfgrass is through proper lawn maintenance. You will be surprised that a properly maintained lawn mower is a great tool in weed control if it used often. Remove no more then one third of a turfgrass canopy at any given mowing. Only bag the lawn clippings, when weeds are flowering and forming seeds.

David Rodriguez is the County Extension Agent-Horticulture with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County. For more information, call the Master Gardener “Hotline” (210) 467-6575 or visit our County Extension website at http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu.

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