Gardening This Weekend: December 30, 2021

It’s a busy family time right now – not one where most people are thinking about gardening. Still, in the off chance that you might want to do a little planning and planting, here are my main suggestions.

Those tulip and hyacinth bulbs you’ve been pre-chilling in the refrigerator for 6 weeks or longer must go in the ground now. This will be your final reminder.
Fruit trees, grapes and blackberry plants by mail from reputable sources as they come into local independent retail nurseries. Shop while supplies are at their best.

Mistletoe from small tree branches. Allowing it to stay will let it begin to root into the limbs until it becomes a serious problem.
Grapes, peaches and plums to direct their growth and improve the quality of their fruit. Check reference books and Texas A&M resources online for specific guidelines on how best to accomplish the pruning.

No need to fertilize flowering Christmas plants such as poinsettias, amaryllis and Christmas cacti. They have enough nutrients in their potting soil already.
High-phosphate, liquid root-stimulator fertilizer at time of planting bare-rooted and balled-and-burlapped fruit trees and landscape trees and shrubs.

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Weakened tree branches, trunks that might split during a winter ice or snow storm. This might be a good time to have a certified arborist inspect your trees carefully. This is especially critical for trees that were damaged severely by last February’s cold weather. Should one of them fall it could inflict serious injury or do major damage.
Overgrown shrubs can be pruned anytime in the next 5 or 6 weeks, but more on that another time. Just remember: don’t top your crape myrtles, and don’t prune spring-flowering shrubs and vines until immediately after they bloom.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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