Gardening This Weekend: January 12, 2017
Here are the most-timely topics of the time – things you need to do in the middle of January. Even if you have to wait until early next week, try to start checking these off.
• Onion slips in southern half of Texas. Wait one more week in North Texas.
• Transplant established trees and shrubs that you either need to relocate due to space limitations or that you wish to bring in from nature.
• Fruit trees, grapes, blackberries and pecans, whether bare-rooted (packed in sawdust or moss), balled-and-burlapped (ball of soil around roots) or in container. Plant the best varieties. Here is the list to which we linked you last week. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/fruit-nut/
• Remove all stems and foliage you know to have been killed by the two cold spells one and four weeks ago. Do not remove green, fleshy stem tissues. See related story this issue.
• Mistletoe from tree branches before it grows any larger. Clip off smaller twigs that are infested entirely.
• Peach and plum trees and grape vines. The same link given in the “PLANT” section has valuable information on pruning techniques. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/fruit-nut/
• Cool-season annuals after rains have passed to give them a second burst after the extended cold spells.
• Asparagus with all-nitrogen fertilizer to promote vigorous new canes early this spring.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Many of our Texas landscape plants that we thought were winter-hardy in our areas have proven not to be after the cold so far this winter. I’ve addressed this before here, and I’ll do so again in another week or two. Don’t be surprised if plants that have thrived for you for several years got hurt or killed by last week’s cold. Check to see their Hardiness Zones. Chances are the low temperatures exceeded them.
• If you have scale insects on hollies, fruit trees, photinias and other shrubs and trees, apply a horticultural oil spray to their leaves and limbs mid-January through early-February. You need 48 hours above freezing and without rain for the oil spray to have sufficient time to do its job of breaking down the scales’ bodies. For whatever the reason, horticultural oils do not seem to be especially effective for crape myrtle scale.