Gardening This Weekend: February 2, 2023
As it warms up this weekend hopefully we can get back to normal. Here are the things you’ll want to put on your list for the next several days. They’re typical for the last weeks of winter, so don’t put them off.
• Frost-tolerant annuals such as larkspurs, sweet alyssum, English daisies, wallflowers, ornamental Swiss chard, stocks and others. They need cool weather to reach peaks of perfection.
• Onions in North Texas as soon as you can – immediately in South Texas. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and Irish potatoes in southern half of the state.
• Bare-rooted and balled-and-burlapped shade and fruit trees.
• Finish transplanting any established trees and shrubs that need to be relocated. This must be done before they start leafing out in the spring.
• Dead growth killed by this winter’s cold from shrubs, groundcovers. If in doubt, however, wait until the plants leaf out this spring.
• Peach and plum trees to remove strongly vertical shoots and encourage spreading habit.
• Grapes to remove 80 percent or more of cane growth.
• 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. Familiarize yourself with rose rosette virus. If you see it on your plants they must be dug and destroyed.
• Crape myrtles, roses of Sharon, 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.
• Newly planted bare-rooted and balled-and-burlapped plants with liquid high-phosphate, root-stimulator fertilizer monthly first year after planting.
• Winter annuals with water-soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizer to encourage vigorous growth, blooms.
• Asparagus with all-nitrogen fertilizer. In this one case, ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) is good.
• Cool-season grasses (rye and fescue) to promote vigorous growth in warming spells of late winter. Use high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen food, with half or more of that nitrogen in slow-release form.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Houseplants may face accumulations of insects such as scales, mealybugs, spider mites and whiteflies. Apply labeled insecticide according to directions.
• Broadleafed (non-grassy) weeds can be treated with appropriate broadleafed herbicide when temperatures allow. Read and follow label directions carefully.
• Horticultural (dormant) oil spray to reduce populations of scales and overwintering insects. Note: oil sprays have not given good results on crape myrtle bark scale. Treatment for that pest is a soil drench with Imidacloprid in mid-May.