Gardening This Weekend: February 3, 2022
Much of the state has been sent back into the chiller, and it looks like we’ll be staying there for a few days. But as things begin to thaw out, here are your top tasks for the early part of February.
• Onions in North Texas as soon as you can. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and Irish potatoes in southern half of the state.
• Cold-tolerant annuals such as larkspurs, sweet alyssum, English daisies, wallflowers, ornamental Swiss chard, stocks and others.
• Bare-rooted and balled-and-burlapped shade and fruit trees immediately.
• Finish transplanting established trees and shrubs that need to be relocated. This must be done before they start leafing out in the spring, and it will be amazing how quickly that can start to transpire.
• Evergreen shrubs as needed to reshape. If you’re having to prune them repeatedly, consider replacing them with something more compact.
• Bush roses by 50 percent, with each cut made just above a bud facing out from the center of the plant. Remove plants afflicted with rose rosette virus.
• Roses-of-Sharon, crape myrtles, trumpetcreepers and other woody, summer-blooming plants as needed to shape. Never “top” a crape myrtle for any reason. It is never a good idea.
• Autumn sage (Salvia greggii) by half to keep plants from becoming lanky and unattractive. Do so soon. They start growing, blooming early.
• Grapes to remove 80 percent or more of cane growth.
• Peach and plum trees to remove strongly vertical shoots and encourage spreading habit. Do it soon. They are among the first plants to bud out and start growing.
• Cool-season grasses (rye and fescue) to promote vigorous growth once soils warm up after this cold spell. Use high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen food, with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form.
• Winter annuals with water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer to encourage vigorous growth, blooms. Again, give soil several days of sunny, warm weather to get rid of the chill.
• Asparagus with all-nitrogen fertilizer. In this one case, ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) is good.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Broadleafed (non-grassy) weeds can be treated with appropriate broadleafed herbicide. Read and follow label directions carefully. You will need to wait until weeds start growing actively again following this cold spell.
• Horticultural (dormant) oil spray to reduce populations of scales and overwintering insects. Spray must be applied before new growth commences.
• Leave frost cloth in place over your tender plants as needed. Assuming you have used the lightweight white fabric it will admit light and rainfall while it still protects your plants. Old quilts, green frost cloths and other materials may need to be removed after each cold spell.