Gardening This Weekend: January 9, 2020
Next week is looking like it’s going to be colder than what we’ve just experienced. And there will be some dramatic changes in between. Still, there are important tasks you need to perform. Take a quick look below.
• Pansies, violas, pinks and other winter-hardy annuals. These are great in pots so you can move them into protection during extended cold. Let your nursery professional guide you.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Newly transplanted trees and shrubs (primarily bare-rooted and balled-and-burlapped) with liquid, high-phosphate, root-stimulator plant food. This will be a first-year-only feeding to encourage new root growth.
• Cool-season annual color during warm spells to encourage new growth and blooms.
• Houseplants, but no more often than once a month with diluted, water-soluble plant food.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Broadleafed weedkiller spray to lawn to eliminate non-grassy weeds such as dandelions, clover, henbit, chickweed, thistles, etc. These products can be identified by presence of 2,4-D. Apply while weather is comparatively warm for best results.
• 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. Systemic insecticides can also be applied during the growing season.
• 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.