Gardening This Weekend: January 6, 2022

We take our gardening time when we can get it in January. Here are the things you’ll want to get done when time and weather allow.

If you’re planning on transplanting established trees and shrubs from one spot to another, this is the time to do so – while they are dormant.
Onion sets in South Texas. Wait a couple of weeks in North Texas.
Cool-season annuals such as pansies and pinks, especially into pots for your patio and entryway. Your nurseryman can suggest other types that will do well in your area.
Fruit trees, grapes, blackberries and pecans. Local independent retail garden centers often have varieties recommended for your part of the state, or they can be ordered by mail from Womack Nursery in DeLeon TX.

• If you have trees that were killed or damaged by last February’s cold, have a certified arborist remove all suspect branches and trunks sooner rather than later. I had a Facebook post this week from a grandmother whose granddaughter had been severely injured by a falling branch that struck her in the head. It required hours of neurosurgery to stop a serious brain bleed. The first wind, ice or snow storm will bring down many trees and branches. Don’t delay in having a pro trim them now.
Evergreen shrubs as needed to reshape. It’s best to do so with lopping shears and other hand tools, not with hedge trimmers, to maintain a natural growth form.
Peach and plum trees to maintain a spreading growth habit. Remove vertical shoots. Pears and figs should not be pruned other than to remove dead or damaged branches.
Grapes by removing 80 to 85 percent of their cane growth. Maintain the vines on their scaffold branches.
Mistletoe from tree branches. It’s best to do this each winter so that you’re cutting new clusters on small twigs. If you let them grow large and to mature size you will not be able to remove entire branches.

Liquid root stimulator to newly transplanted trees and shrubs monthly for the first year they are in their new homes.
Pansies, pinks and other winter annuals with a water-soluble plant food each time that you water them.
Houseplants monthly with diluted water-soluble plant food. You’re trying to maintain them in a healthy condition, not encourage new growth during the dark days of winter.

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Keep a close eye on trees that were damaged or killed by last February’s cold. Wind, snow or ice storms could easily cause limbs or entire trees to fall. If in doubt, have a certified arborist inspect the tree to check its stability.
Houseplants for insect pests. Because they have no natural predators indoors, populations of scales, mealy bugs, whiteflies and spider mites can build quickly indoors. Let your nursery professional guide you as to the best controls.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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