Q. The geraniums at the nursery are beautiful but if I remember right, they are heat sensitive and don’t last well into the summer. Is that right?

A. They last but not as attractively as they look now. The next three months usually provide ideal weather for geraniums. At that point, we move them out of the afternoon sun and into a site that is in the morning sun where they hang on through the summer and then perk up in the fall again.  If you seek out the Fantasia selection, they are especially heat tolerant. 

Q. Last year we were plagued by sandburs. You reported that sometime in February we should apply a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent a new crop! Is now the time and what herbicide should we use? 

A. Yes, now is the time. Three products that work are Amaze, XL, and Dimension. Follow the label instructions. It works best when you make a second application on or about June 1. Sand burs are difficult to control. 

Q. We also attend the San Antonio Rodeo and purchase a few plants of the year’s Rodeo tomato. Remind me why you recommend we “pot them up” rather than plant them directly in the garden. Tell the selection team that I like word names better than numbers, “Red Snapper” is kind of weird!

A. The soil is too cold to support active growing tomato plants right now. Fill a 1- or 3-gallon black plastic pot with Osmocote enriched potting soil and the transplant, and then place the pots in the sun out of the wind until after March 1. You can even save some for planting on April 1. If they are planted too early, they stop growing and harden off.  Move them inside temporarily if temperatures below 40 degrees are forecast.   I will relay your comments on new tomato names. Thanks. 

Q. When should we prune our roses? Where can we obtain pruning instructions?

A. Now is the time to prune roses except for the climbing roses, wait until after they bloom later this spring. It is also time to prune fruit trees and some ornamental plants. Visit plantanswers.com for instructions and diagrams.

Calvin Finch is a retired horticulture agent in Bexar County. He writes for and works with a number of area media outlets.

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