Gardening This Weekend: January 16, 2020
Forget the “spring” housecleaning in our landscape. We’re doing it now. There’s too much to save it for March and April. Clean things up now, and beyond that, here’s the rest of our list.
• Finish planting onions and English peas in South Texas. Start in Central and North Central Texas now. Wait one or two weeks in far North Texas.
• Recommended varieties of fruit and pecan trees, grapes and bramble berries for your part of Texas. Once again, here is the link to a story I wrote a couple of weeks ago. It re-links you to important fact sheets on all fruit crops as written by Texas A&M fruit specialists.
• Relocate established trees and shrubs that you’re wanting to move from one spot to another. This must be done while they’re dormant. We’ve had a mild winter so far and some of our plants are starting to bud out. You need to get this job finished as quickly as possible.
• Peach and plum trees to maintain low, bowl-shaped growth habits and to eliminate any strongly vertical shoots. Remove vertical “water sprouts” from apples. Do very little pruning to pears and figs – primarily just to remove damaged branches.
• Grapes to remove up to 80 or 85 percent of cane growth each winter. Maintain scaffold branching along their supports.
• Summer-flowering shrubs and vines to remove unwanted and damaged branches.
• Do not “top” crape myrtles for any purported reason. There is never justification for doing so. Never!
• Asparagus beds with all-nitrogen fertilizer such as 21-0-0 now to promote vigorous growth of new spears.
• Pansies, pinks, snapdragons, alyssum and other winter color with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food with each watering. The container will give you instructions on amounts. They will depend on concentrations of nutrients.
• New tree and shrub plantings with liquid, high-phosphate root-stimulator fertilizer monthly for first year. Same root-stimulator at planting for new annuals.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Houseplants for mealybugs, scales, spider mites and whiteflies. Their populations build due to lack of predators indoors. Apply labeled insecticide, preferably systemic.
• Scale insects on fruit trees, camellias, hollies, euonymus and other landscape and garden plants. Apply dormant (“horticultural”) oil spray according to label directions.