Gardening This Weekend: February 10, 2022
Last year it was the extreme cold. Last week it was snow, sleet and especially ice. And cold to boot – just not nearly as bad as last year. Maybe better times are ahead. Here are this week’s goals.
• Bare-root fruit and pecan trees, grape vines and bramble berries immediately. Tune in my special program on this topic this Sunday morning 8-10 on WBAP 820AM with guest Dr. George Ray McEachern, recently retired from 40 years with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. See related story this issue.
• Finish all transplanting of established plants before buds start to break into new growth. (Better hustle if you’re in Deep South Texas.)
• Cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower) from potted transplants. Do so immediately in South Texas. It’s OK to wait a week or two in far North Texas.
• Leafy and root vegetables in Deep South Texas, including lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, radishes, kale. Wait 2-3 weeks in North Central Texas.
• Irish potatoes from eyes. Cut “certified seed potatoes” from the nursery or feed store so that each piece has several eyes, or buds. Let the cut pieces air-dry for a couple of days before you plant them.
• Frost-tolerant annuals, including pinks, snaps, primulas, wallflowers, stocks, Iceland poppies, English daisies, larkspurs, sweet alyssum and others.
• Shade trees, shrubs to remove branches damaged by weight of ice and snow. Leave no stubs in the process. See related story this issue.
• Grape vines to remove up to 85 percent of their cane growth. That will result in fewer clusters, but of far greater quality. This must be done in order to keep the vines manageable.
• Peach and plum trees before they come into bud and bloom. Your goal is to remove strongly vertical shoots so you can encourage horizontal branching. Trees that are not trained will grow too tall for easy harvest. Heavy fruit loads will also be more likely to break limbs.
• Do NOT top crape myrtles. Ever! It ruins their natural growth forms forever. However, if they have branches that need to be removed entirely, this is the time to do so.
• Bush roses by 50 percent. Each cut should be just above a bud that faces outward from the center of the plant. Confirm that your plants do not have rose rosette virus before you start pruning. See related information on my website.
• Ryegrass and fescue with high-quality lawn fertilizer. Wait until mid-spring to feed warm-season grasses bermuda, St. Augustine and zoysia..
• Pansies, pinks, snapdragons and other cool-season annual flowers with a high-nitrogen food. Water-soluble types give quickest results.
• Apply high-phosphate liquid root stimulator to newly transplanted trees and shrubs. Your independent nursery professional will have a couple of brands.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Be prepared to start spring fruit tree spray program in next several weeks (soon in South Texas). First applications will come when trees are in full flower bud, but before buds actually open.
• Broadleafed weedkiller spray (containing 2,4-D) will kill clover, dandelions, chickweed, plantain and other non-grassy weeds. Check the directions as they relate to temperature restrictions.
• Annual bluegrass and other winter grasses cannot be sprayed at this point. Mark the calendar to apply pre-emergent granules the first week of September to prevent them next time around.
• Application times of pre-emergent granules for crabgrass and grassburs will be 2 weeks prior to average date of last killing freeze for your part of Texas. More on that here in the next couple of weeks.