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Horticultural Calendar for San Antonio, Austin and Surrounding Areas

Start preparing your landscape for a cold to very cold winter. Record low temperatures have been recorded recently throughout the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere. Also, the Ulawun volcano of Papua New Guinea erupted in early August sending volcanic ash into the stratosphere. Those high elevation particles can block the sun's energy for up to three years, exacerbating the prevailing cooling trend.

Week 1 -
Sow Swiss Chard now. This beet cousin is a potentially perennial vegetable.

Sow Poppies now in sunny, well-drained sites to enjoy their beautiful spring blooms.

Houseplants which spent the summer outdoors should be acclimated gradually to lower light intensities. Use anti-transpirants to minimize leaf-drop when they are returned indoors before a freeze.

Plant Strawberries in full sun, in raised beds filled with sandy, acidic materials. Bare-root plants are a bargain, but tricky.

Plant Garlic cloves in very well-drained sites in full sun.

Plant perennial cultivars of Daffodils, but never 'King Alfred', immediately.

Week 2 -
Fertilize Bermuda and St. Augustine lawns with a 3-1-2 ratio, winterizing fertilizer and water it in immediately.

Time for final application of pyrethroid granules to control insects in the landscape.

Have floating row cover, old blankets, tarps, etc. available to protect vegetable garden in case an early freeze occurs.  Polyethylene plastic, by itself, is useless, with no insulative properties.

Transplant hardy annuals like Texas Bluebonnet, Ornamental Kale, Snapdragon, Johnny-Jump-Up, Pansy, Pinks and Phlox.

Sow: Beets, Collards, Leaf Lettuce and Parsley in sunny plots.

Week 3 -
Time to move tropical plants back into the house or greenhouse. Apply insecticidal drenches to remove pests a few days before pots are brought inside.

Sow seeds of Texas Grano 1015y ('Texas Supersweet') onions in shallow containers of soil-less, well-drained potting medium. Protect from severe cold and plant in ground in early February,

Plant Ranunculus in the garden or in pots which will be over-wintered in a coldframe or cool greenhouse.

Week 4 -
Deeply mulch subtropical perennials like Chilean Jasmine, China Doll, Firebush, Firecracker Bush, Pride-of-Barbados, Plumbago and Poinsettia.

Start Freesia and Paperwhite Narcissus in pots. Keep them cool but protected from freezing.

Defoliate young specimens of Indian-named hybrid Crepe Myrtles if they are not showing colorful fall foliage.

Week 1 -
Sow: Bush Snap Beans, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cilantro, Cucumber and Parsley.

Sow seeds of winter annuals and wildflowers in full sun.

If your lawn is declining/dying in patches, check for grub worms, chinch bugs or a fungal disease.

Plant perennials like Fall Asters, Mums, Salvias for late season color.

Plant seed potatoes saved from spring harvest.

Finish pruning shrubs to avoid encouraging new growth which is freeze tender.

Week 2 -
Apply acidifying iron supplements & paramagnetic minerals to Azaleas, Camellias, Dogwoods, Gardenias, etc.

Apply pre-emergent herbicides to control cool-season weeds.

Sycamores, Catalpas, Cottonwoods and Mulberries with scorched, anthracnose-blighted leaves will never improve.  Please, cut them down to two inches below soil line.

FALL IS FOR PLANTING. Plant hardy trees, shrubs, vines, groundcovers and perennials from now until mid-December for optimal results.

Fertilize Caladium corms once more if you intend to dig and store them in late October. Replant in mid-April.

Lawn mower blade height can be lowered 1/2" to 3/4".

Sow: Kohlrabi and bush forms of Summer Squash.

Do not be too hasty! Pansies, Johnny-Jump-Ups & Snapdragons are not set out until after Columbus Day.

Build a compost pile to collect falling fall foliage.

Week 3 -
Buy bulbs for planting this fall. Some, like Tulips, should be refrigerated until mid-December.

Transplant: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage and Cauliflower.

Dig and divide spring- and summer-blooming perennials.

Failure to apply pre-emergent herbicides permits weeds to germinate.

Control Brown Patch in 'Raleigh' St. Augustine lawns. Spray fungicides or re-sod with 'Floratam' St. Augustine or 'El Toro' Zoysia.

Week 4 -
Make sure your younger specimens of hybrid Crepe Myrtles are starting to go dormant. If not, cease watering and remove their mulch until they are leafless.

Control Pillbugs in newly-germinated Texas Bluebonnets.

Still time to sow wildflowers in your landscape, as well as waste places near where you live or work.

Check the structural integrity of planters or half whiskey barrels before planting winter annuals.

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!,

seasonal notes

Protect acorns, sown for propagation, from squirrel predation.

Copyright at Common Law by Manuel Flores