Gardening This Weekend: January 11, 2018
Cold weather has arrived again, and it’s going to be with us over the weekend, but let’s go ahead and get our “to-do” list started. These are things you’ll want to work on early next week.
• 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 for your area. Check Texas A&M Extension Horticulture web pages, including the ones to which I linked you last week.
• Transplant established trees and shrubs that you either need to relocate due to space limitations or that you wish to bring in from nature.
• Onion slips in southern half of Texas. Wait one or two more weeks in North Central Texas and two to three weeks farther north.
• Mistletoe from tree branches before it grows any larger. Clip off smaller twigs that are infested entirely.
• Evergreen shrubs and shade trees as needed to shape and to remove dead or damaged branches. Avoid formal shearing whenever possible, and never top a crape myrtle for any purported reason.
• Peach and plum trees to remove strongly vertical shoots and to encourage horizontal branching.
• Grape vines to remove 80 to 85 percent of their cane growth and to maintain strong scaffold branching.
• Cool-season annual color once warm spells return to encourage new growth and blooms.
• Houseplants, but no more often than once a month with diluted, water-soluble plant food.
• Newly transplanted trees and shrubs with liquid, high-phosphate, root-stimulator plant food. This will be a first-year-only feeding to encourage new root growth.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• 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.
• Houseplants for whiteflies, spider mites, mealybugs and scale insects. These tend to accumulate indoors due to lack of natural predators. Use labeled houseplant insecticide. Your local retail nursery dealer can show you the options.