Gardening This Weekend: January 4, 2018
What a cold spell. You expect that up North, but even Texas got slammed. But hopefully we’ll all soon be able to catch up with the winter gardening activities. Here are the most timely responsibilities among them.
• Onion sets in South Texas. Wait a couple of weeks in North Texas.
• Cool-season annuals such as pansies and pinks, especially into pots for your patio and entryway. Your nurseryman can suggest other types that will do well in your area.
• If you’re planning on transplanting established trees and shrubs from one spot to another, this is the time to do so – while they are dormant.
• Fruit trees, grapes, blackberries and pecans. Local independent retail garden centers often have varieties recommended for your part of the state, or they can be ordered by mail from Womack Nursery in DeLeon TX. https://womacknursery.com See the more than 45 great fact sheets from Texas A&M on each of the fruit types in this issue of e-gardens.
• Grapes by removing 80 to 85 percent of their cane growth. Maintain the vines on their scaffold branches.
• Peach and plum trees to maintain a spreading growth habit. Remove vertical shoots. Pears and figs should not be pruned other than to remove dead or damaged branches.
• Mistletoe from tree branches. It’s best to do this each winter so that you’re cutting new clusters on small twigs. If you let them grow large and to mature size you will not be able to remove entire branches.
• Pansies, pinks and other winter annuals with a water-soluble plant food each time that you water them.
• Liquid root stimulator to newly transplanted trees and shrubs monthly for the first year they are in their new homes.
• Houseplants monthly with diluted water-soluble plant food. You’re trying to maintain them in a healthy condition, not encourage new growth during the dark days of winter.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• If you begin to see damage done by the cold, wait a week or two to assess it. People sometimes rush to trim plants back because leaves have been browned, when in reality the plants would have put out new growth from the stems if given time. However, once you can tell that a plant has frozen back to the ground, then you can trim.
• Houseplants for insect pests. Because they have no natural predators indoors, populations of scales, mealy bugs, whiteflies and spider mites can build quickly indoors. Let your nursery professional guide you as to the best controls.