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Horticultural Calendar for San Antonio, Austin and Surrounding Areas
April
Week 1-
Our latest spring freeze has occurred this week. Tropical house plants can be taken outside.

Stake Gladiolus as their flower spikes are forming, or grow them closer together for mutual support.

Place 21 gram, 2-year fertilizer tablets in waterlily pots. Cover disturbed soil with tiles or bricks to keep fish and frogs out.

Cover Strawberry beds with white agricultural fabric to protect fruit from birds. Kill pillbugs with a safe bait.

Apply and water-in pyrethroid (deltamethrin, permethrin, resmethrin) granules at sunset if fleas have appeared in your landscape. Repeat every four weeks until mid-October.

Remember to side-dress onion and garlic plants with 21-0-0 every three weeks. Water it in immediately.

Harvest Broccoli and cauliflower before they get too old and bloom.

Sow: Cucumber, Lima Beans, Snap Beans, Squash, Sweet Corn and Watermelon in sunny sites.

Week 2 -
If you grow citrus, or any other members of the Citrus Family, learn all you can about huang long bing and Asian Citrus Psyllids. Because of this bacterial disease, I no longer add any member of the Citrus Family to our landscape. Check all new growth for signs of psyllids and treat accordingly. Be careful about spraying insecticides when plants are blooming and being visited by bees.

Finish transplanting: Oriental Eggplant, Pepper and Cherry Tomato.

Aerate lawns once each year in the spring. Use a core-extracting aerator.

Have you sharpened the lawn mower blade?

Apply a wound dressing immediately after pruning any Oak-Wilt-susceptible Oaks.

Use a root feeder to water plants on slopes or in narrow beds.

Control thrips on roses with systemic insecticides.

Have you tried the organic fungicide for rose disease control? It is an extract from a Chinaberry Tree cousin called the Neem tree.

Keep pinching back shoot tips of Bougainvillea grown in the ground. Do not fertilize them.

Time for optional spring feeding of Bermudagrass or St. Augustinegrass lawns with a slow-release fertilizer.  Do not feed Buffalograss.

Week 3 -
Sow: Cosmos, Gomphrena, Okra, Ornamental Cotton, Perennial Hibiscus and Madagascar Periwinkle.

Feed resprouting bananas, gingers, heliconias and other tropical perennials with 15-5-10 and repeat in six weeks.

Perennial Daffodil foliage should be allowed to dry back totally. Do not remove it while it shows any sign of green.

Apply iron supplements (such as glauconite) and an acidifying fertilizer to deciduous Magnolias and Camellias. Mulch with pine bark or pine needles.

Plant Basil, Begonia, Caladium and Impatiens in prepared beds.

Thin developing peaches to leave them five inches apart.

Week 4 -
Don't mow wildflowers until their seeds are mature.

Save your Ranunculus. Cut them to four-inches-high when they finish blooming. If not disturbed, most will resprout in December.

Make plans to replace Johnny-Jump-Up, Pansy, Poppy, Primula and Snapdragon as heat kills them.

Plant heat-tolerant perennials like China Doll, Clerodendrum, Ginger, Lantana and Pride-of-Barbados.

If it is legal where you live, modify your plumbing to allow gray water irrigation of ornamental plants.

Don't bag lawn clippings. Mow whenever grass has grown 1/2 to 5/8 inch and let clippings fall into turf.
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March
Week 1-
Remove protective winter mulch from subtropical perennials and replace in late April, as it gets hot.

Still time to mow well-established Asian Jasmine and feed with a slow-release lawn food (never use a weed and feed product).

Last chance to set out Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower transplants this spring. Cover with netting to protect from insects.

Eradicate winter annual grasses from wildflower patches with appropriate selective herbicides before flower spikes appear.

Sow: Snap Beans and make final sowing of Beets and Carrots.

Last chance to apply pre-emergent herbicides and receive their full benefit. Remember to water them in lightly.

Spray flowering Cherry Laurel, Native Black Cherry, Peach, Plum and Nectarine regularly with Agri-Strep to prevent their getting fatal bacterial diseases.

Week 2 -
Prune back Bougainvillea and Hibiscus which have been in winter storage. Take them outdoors when growth resumes.

For an economical lawn, sow Bermudagrass in sunny sites, especially varieties like 'Sahara'.

Collect Live Oak leaves with your blower, rake or lawnmower and place in compost pile or as a mulch under ornamentals.

Beware the Ides of March! It could still freeze! The date of the latest freeze is still three weeks away.

Finish tilling in well-composted organic matter in sites where Tomatoes, Peppers and Squash will be grown.

Cut off any fruits produced on Daffodils, Irises and other spring bulbs.

Feed deciduous trees and shrubs as they resume growth with 15-5-10.

Week 3 -
If you must fertilize lawns this early, apply only all natural products, such as compost. Chemical fertilizers are applied after mid-April.

Let potting medium of Geraniums dry between waterings.

Do not disturb the soil where Begonias grew last season. Many will return as perennials.

Sow: Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Lima Beans and Squash.

Begin planting large transplants of Tomatoes and Peppers in the ground, but be ready to protect them from temperatures below 50° F.

Week 4 -
Add more hardwood mulch around hardy perennials, shrubs and trees if it is now less than 4" deep.

If your shady landscape had Hinckley's Columbines, it would be spectacular for the next month.

Time to start air layers of trees, shrubs, vines, roses and tropicals you wish to propagate.

In the absence of rainfall, water trees and shrubs at their drip line every two to three weeks during the spring growth phase.

Prevent Black Spot on Roses and their relatives. It is very difficult to control once it starts.
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Before you irrigate, see if storms are approaching from the west.

Or, see if storms are approaching from the east.

The botanical images on this site were produced by The Photon Hunt.

Thank you for visiting!,
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water wisdom
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Men and beasts and plants require much water during the Dog Days of summer.
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Irrigate lawns only when grass blades first show signs of wilting in the morning. Apply 1/2 to 5/8 inch of water on each of two consecutive mornings to encourage deeper roots. If you water once a week (as the municipal water monopolies recommend) you'll promote shallow roots. During a long dry spell, as soil and subsoil moisture levels drop, the only water available at the root zone will be what you apply. Since typical irrigation only penetrates about 2" to 3" into our heavy clay soils, that places a limit on the depth of live roots.
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Copyright at Common Law by Manuel Flores