Spring Planting:

 

MARCH:

Service your lawnmower and sharpen your tools.  It's time to get your beds and lawn in order before the hot weather arrives. If you didn't get around to pruning your spring flowering and evergreen shrubs during February, do it in early March. However, be sure to prune spring flowering shrubs after they have bloomed. Remove winter damaged plants once you can distinguish the dead wood from the greenwood.

March also is a good time to divide and transplant mums, ajuga, Liriope, daylily and Shasta daisy.

Use a mulching mower this month to mulch dried tree leaves into your grass as you trim it.

Keep frost protection nearby to protect tender plants just in case.  It's Texas, you just never know.

WHAT TO PLANT in the flower beds:

Bring the seedlings you planted inside out now during the day and let them get used to cool air for a bit before planting them.

WHAT TO PLANT in the vegetable garden:

Seed in Ground: arugula, beans, beets, carrots, chard, chives, cilantro, collards, sweet corn, cucumbers, dill, leaf lettuce, melons, mustard greens, okra, parsley, southern peas, potatoes (early), radish, spinach, snap beans, squash (summer and winter), turnips, watermelon

Seed Indoors: melons, pumpkin, tomatoes (early), winter and summer squash

Transplant: bok choi, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, cauliflower, swiss chard, cucumber, eggplant (late), kale, leeks, head lettuce, bunching onions, peppers (late), tomatoes (late), summer and winter squash

Courtesy Urban Garden Coalition

 

APRIL

As April arrives, give beneficial insects a chance to do their job before breaking out the pesticides.  Watch for ladybug larva.  They are orange and black and look like alligators.

Fertilize your lawn when you have mowed it a couple of times.

WHAT TO PLANT in the flower bed:

Fall blooming bulbs like oxblood and lillies can be planted.

Plant hibiscus, bougainvillea, mandevilla and allamanda vines in containers for tropical landscape color. Warm-season annual color can be planted using trailing lantanas, cosmos, zinnias, firebush, copper plant, moss rose (portulaca), purslane, Dahlberg daisy, purple fountaingrass, and pentas for the sunny locations. For shade areas choose from begonias, impatiens, caladiums, and coleus. In heavily shaded parts of the landscape where grass is difficult to maintain, choose one of the well-adapted groundcover plants such as English or Algerian ivy, Asian jasmine, or mondograss.

Plant caladium tubers after mid-month.

WHAT TO PLANT in the vegetable garden:

Basil

Tomatoes, sweet corn and snap beans, peppers, cucumbers, lima or butter beans, cantaloupe, okra, southern peas, pumpkin, squash, peanuts and watermelon.

Protect tender transplants and seedlings from unexpected cold and from wind damage.

Okra, corn and melon crops can be planted now if the soil has warmed sufficiently

 

MAY

Watch for spidermites and other pests now.  Eradicate them quickly. Don't forget to mulch. It helps hold in moisture as the hot days begin to set in and regulates the ground temperature below.  Use at least 3" of mulch on beds, but you could use as much as 6" in high sun areas. Water more deeply now and less frequently. Flowers should really be blooming.  Cut a fresh bouquet for Mother's Day.

WHAT TO PLANT in the flower beds:

Plant sun-loving, heat tolerant annual flowers such as portulaca, purslane, copper plants, lantanas, and ornamental peppers. Do not transplant vinca (periwinkle) until June after the rainy season is over. Seeds that may be sown directly in the warm soil include amaranthus, celosia, morning glory, sunflowers and zinnias. Plant hibiscus, bougainvillea or mandevilla vines in containers for tropical landscape color. If deer are a problem, choose from a special list

WHAT TO PLANT in the vegetable garden:

Fruit set of many vegetables are sensitive to high temperatures, so plant okra, Southern peas, peanuts, sweet corn, watermelons, cucumbers, squash, cantaloupes and eggplant during the first part of May for best results. High temperatures, both day and night, interfere with pollination and fruit set in many vegetables. Snap beans tend to drop their flowers readily under these conditions. Squash has a tendency to produce a large number of male flowers (the ones without the small fruit attached to the base of the bloom) and, consequently, few fruit. Okra, Southern peas and eggplants will continue to set fruit in the summer