VOLUME 14, ISSUE 5 • February 1, 2018

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


The first weekend of February. We have a boatload of late-winter things to get done and good looking weather to do them in.

In this e-gardens…
• Growing perfect potatoes;
• Why are boxwoods bronzing;
• Timing of pruning oaks is critical;
• Most important weekend tasks; and
• One of the best gifts for Valentine's.


Big Sunday on radio!
It's our annual visit with Dr. George Ray McEachern, specialist with Texas A&M. My entire program will be devoted to FRUIT AND PECANS - home and commercial orchards. George Ray is THE best, and he's been my guest annually for more than 35 years. Tune us in live on WBAP 820AM from 8 until 10 a.m. The program also live streams from the WBAP website, and you can hear the podcasts by Monday evening on my website. The number to call to talk to George Ray will be (800) 288-9227. If it's busy, call right back.

And now it's on to e-gardens.

Photo: Phalaenopsis orchids are among America's favorite flowering houseplants.


Prime time for Phalaenopsis orchids

Calling all guys! (OK for ladies to read this, too.) The perfect Valentine's gift: a Phalaenopsis orchid in bloom. They're readily available in greenhouses, nurseries and groceries, and they're easy.

Photo: Phalaenopsis orchid in the Sperry living room blooming currently.


Gardening This Weekend

Maybe we'll get a break and you can start to catch up. Click through to see what you need to accomplish in the landscape and garden over the next several days.

Photo: Cabbage is (or soon will be) ready for planting.


Potato Planting Time Nears

If you've ever enjoyed fresh Irish potatoes out of the garden, you know they're some of the most delicious of all crops you can grow. It's time to plant them in South Texas and soon will be farther north. I have tips to success.

Photo: Plant potatoes soon for spring harvest.


Question of the Week: February 1, 2018

"Neil, why has my Japanese boxwood turned bronze-colored over the past several weeks?"

Click for the answer.

Photo: If you have boxwoods that look like this, you may be wondering why.


Critical Timing of Oak Pruning

You may be aware that pruning of oak trees must be done at the proper time. That's because of oak wilt disease, and that pruning time is about to end. It's really important that you know the details.

Photo: Commercial landscape company finishes oak pruning this week in McKinney.


And, in closing…

I feel like I'm stepping down off a treadmill. We've covered a lot, and spring is only now starting. If you enjoy e-gardens, help us spread the word. And be back again next week for more!

Reminder from the Sperry Librarian…
My book is still available if you're still without. You've seen the details here earlier. If not, you can see them by clicking into my website (only place you can buy it). I'll look forward to signing one just for you!

Until then,

Happy Gardening!


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