Weatherford Democrat

February 16, 2014

ASK A MASTER GARDENER: What to do about wild aster


Weatherford Democrat

Here are this week’s gardening questions and answers, provided by Parker County Master Gardeners. To submit a question, send it to pcmgaquestions@gmail.com. For more information about Parker County Master Gardeners, or to become a member, call 817-598-6096 or visit www.pcmg-texas.org.



I have wild asters in my lawn. Will a pre-emergent kill them?

Wild aster is a cool-season plant that is a perennial in warmer climates, but may be a re-seeding annual in our area. In either case, applying a pre-emergent now would not be effective.

The seeds of this plant have probably already germinated. Once the weather has warmed up and the plant is actively growing, effective control can be accomplished by applying a broadleaf weed killer containing the chemical 2-4-D, or by spot treating with a product containing glyphosate. 

As a rule of thumb, a pre-emergent should be applied prior to the seeds germinating: for cool season annuals in mid-September, and for warm season annuals in mid-February to early March. Remember, always read product labels carefully and follow them precisely. Always try the least toxic methods first.



My Asian jasmine appears to have died after the ice storm. Will it sprout again in spring?

Asian jasmine is a ground cover recommended as cold hardy for this temperature zone. However, this winter officially being one of the coldest winters on record for Parker County, the plant may appear to have died.

Our current recommendation for plants that appear to have died is to be patient. The goal is to protect the root system of the plants, so don’t prune until we have warmer temperatures.

In addition, watering the plants thoroughly prior to a predicted freeze will help protect the roots. We anticipate that many of our frozen perennials and ground covers will eventually sprout again. Some may be set back and may not appear until later in spring; some may not survive.



I usually prune my roses on Valentine’s Day.  Should I wait, given this unusual winter?

I’ve looked closely at my roses, and new growth is already starting to peak out despite the cold. Spring is just around the corner; so yes, go ahead and prune them. For detailed information on pruning roses, see our article next week.



Education class

Register now for our Community Education class, “Gardening for Birds and Butterflies.” This class is hosted by Weatherford ISD and taught by the Parker County Master Gardeners. It will be held at the Bowie Learning Center on March 1 from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $20. For registration information go to the WISD website http://comed.weatherfordisd.com.