Gardening This Weekend: January 12, 2023
We’ve had some nice weather these past couple of weeks. See how many of these critical tasks you’ve already checked off your list.
• Cool-season color to perk up the landscape, perhaps to replace plantings lost to the extreme cold three weeks ago. Pansies and pinks are the most winter hardy. South Texans could also include snapdragons, sweet alyssum, stocks, wallflowers, Iceland poppies, ornamental chard and others.
• Fruit trees and vines, bramble berries and pecans. Choose varieties carefully, sticking with those types recommended by Texas A&M for your part of the state.
• Asparagus from 2-year-old roots into well-prepared garden soil where the planting can remain undisturbed for many years.
• Onion slips in South Texas. Snap peas in Deep South Texas. Your time will come in a couple of weeks, North Texas gardeners.
• If you have established trees and shrubs in your landscape that you’re planning on moving, you have about one more month to get that job done. Dig them carefully, holding balls of soil in place around their roots as you do.
• Peach and plum trees to maintain their scaffold branching structure and horizontal habit.
• Grapes to remove 80-85 percent of their cane growth.
• Shade trees to remove branches you know to be dead or damaged. Even including oaks, they quickly lose their strength and can fall in wind and ice storms.
• Evergreen shrubs as needed but retain natural growth forms as much as possible.
• Summer-flowering shrubs and vines, but do not “top” crape myrtles ever for any purported reason. There is no valid reason to do so.
• Newly transplanted trees and shrubs with liquid root stimulator monthly.
• Pansies, violas and other winter annuals with water-soluble, high-nitrogen plant food.
• Asparagus with all-nitrogen fertilizer to promote new late winter cane growth.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Scale insects on hollies, euonymus, fruit trees, oaks, pecans and other shade and fruit trees. Apply horticultural oil. Read and follow label directions as they pertain to rain and temperatures. For the record, crape myrtle scales do not respond well to oil sprays. They are treated with the systemic insecticide Imidacloprid as a soil drench in May.
• Houseplants to control whiteflies, mealybugs, scales and spider mites. Your nursery professional can show you the appropriate controls.
• Watch trailing junipers for signs of damage from spider mites, especially in South and Central Texas. The mites that attack conifers are active in cooler weather. If your plants begin to take on a drab, gray-green look, it may very well be the effects of spider mites. Take one of the twigs and thump it over a sheet of white paper. If you see almost microscopic brownish-red specks start to move, those are the mites. Spray with an insecticide that is also labeled for control of mites.