Gardening This Weekend: January 19, 2023

You may not think of January as a prime gardening month, but there are critical tasks that can only be done now. Take a quick look.

Relocate established trees and shrubs that you’re wanting to move from one spot to another. This must be done while they’re dormant, meaning you have only a few more weeks to finish the task.
Finish planting onions and English peas in South Texas. Start in Central and North Central Texas now. Wait one or two weeks in far North Texas.
Recommended varieties of fruit and pecan trees, grapes and bramble berries for your part of Texas. Texas A&M horticulturists have lists of the best varieties for each part of Texas. Look through these fact sheets.

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Grapes to remove up to 80 or 85 percent of cane growth each winter. Maintain scaffold branching along their supports.
Peach and plum trees to maintain low, bowl-shaped growth habits and to eliminate any strongly vertical shoots. Remove vertical “water sprouts” from apples. Do very little pruning to pears and figs – primarily just to remove damaged branches.
Summer-flowering shrubs and vines to remove unwanted and damaged branches.
Do not “top” crape myrtles for any purported reason. There is never justification for doing so.

Winter and early spring color plants with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food with each watering.
New tree and shrub plantings with liquid, high-phosphate root-stimulator fertilizer monthly for first year. Same root-stimulator at planting for new annuals.

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Limbs of oaks and other trees that were damaged by extreme cold two years ago. Dead branches can break from weight of ice and in windstorms, also simply from the weight of the dead branches. It’s safest to have a certified arborist do this removal for you.
Scale insects on fruit trees, camellias, hollies, euonymus and other landscape and garden plants. Apply dormant (“horticultural”) oil spray according to label directions.
Houseplants for annoying mealybugs, scales, spider miles and whiteflies. Apply labeled insecticide, preferably systemic.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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