Gardening This Weekend: January 4, 2024

Here’s hoping you’ll find a couple of hours in the next several days to get these jobs done.

Cool-season annuals, including pansies, violas, pinks, and snapdragons in Central and North Texas. In South Texas the list can also include sweet alyssum, stocks, ornamental Swiss chard, wallflowers, and larkspurs.
Native and established landscape trees and shrubs you want to dig and transplant. Hold as much soil as you can in place around their roots in the process.
Fruit trees and vines. Find a list of varieties recommended by Texas A&M for your part of Texas and buy accordingly.
Onions in South Texas. Central and North Texas plantings will go in in two to three weeks.

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Evergreens to reshape, but avoid formal shearing. Hand shears and loppers give the most natural-looking results.
Grapes to remove 80-85 percent of the cane growth. Without this pruning the vines will over-produce and fruit quality will be poor. Maintain the vines on their scaffold wires.
Peach and plum trees to establish strong scaffold branching 24 to 30 inches from the ground. Remove all strongly vertical shoots each winter.

Pansies, pinks, and other winter annuals with a water-soluble plant food each time that you water them.
Liquid root stimulator to newly transplanted trees and shrubs monthly for first year they are in their new homes.
Asparagus beds in South Texas with all-nitrogen fertilizer in next 10 days. Wait until late January in Central and North Texas.

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Insect pests on houseplants, including spider mites, scales, mealybugs, and whiteflies. Talk to a Texas Certified Nursery Professional to find the best product for each pest on each type of plant.
Mistletoe from tree branches. Smaller clumps at the ends of shoot can be removed by clipping the entire twig from the tree. Larger clumps on mature branches can only be clipped back flush with the bark. They will regrow, but you’ll slow them down. (See related story this issue.) There is no spray that will eliminate mistletoe without harming the host tree.
Extreme cold. Be ready with frost cloth. Cold can pop in with little notice. Buy frost cloth ahead of the rush of the next bad cold front and have it pre-cut and ready to put out over your vulnerable plants.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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