VOLUME 20, ISSUE 2 • January 11, 2024

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


It's about to get cold in Texas. REALLY COLD! If you have a specific cold-weather question you'd like me to address on the radio, see my note in the closing portion of this page below.

In this issue…
Asparagus goes in first;
Coping with cold;
This weekend's other assignments;
Diane Sitton's winter wonders in the garden; and
Your questions and my answers.

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Photo: 'Sorbet' violas are small-flowering sisters to pansies.


Gardening This Weekend

Winter is here. Not that folks who have moved into Texas from up North are going to have much sympathy, but for us Native Texans, this is really cold to our systems. And, so it is with our plants. What should we be doing this weekend? Take a look.

Photo: Mid-January is the perfect time for planting and pruning plums.


Finding the wonder in your winter garden

Diane Sitton always finds beauty in gardens. Winter is no exception. This month she creates it from “found” items of the “off” season. And she keeps records of them.

Photo: Create a permanent garden record -- and sharpen your observation skills - by keeping a garden journal.


Asparagus in Texas Gardens

It's the first vegetable you'll plant into a Texas garden (as soon as possible), and it will still be around 10 to 15 years from now. Asparagus is a perennial plant, but few Texans grow it. I’ll tell you how.

Photo: It takes a couple of years to get started with asparagus. Better get growing!


Cold Weather on the Horizon

Temperatures have felt more like a pogo stick than a rollercoaster the past several days, and there's even more drama coming from Saturday on. It's going to get much colder still. Here are my tips on protecting your plants.

Photo: I keep talking "frost cloth." It really works!


Ask Neil

Peach pruning ranks high, but elms, red oaks, and live oaks made the list, too. Skunks even slipped in without invitation. See how I addressed readers' questions.


And, in closing…

(Please don't get this confused with the Q&A section of e-gardens above.)

If you have a cold-weather gardening question that I haven't addressed in my story this issue, and if you would like to have me answer it on the radio this Saturday or Sunday, email it to me by Fri. Jan. 12, 3pm at
(Much as I wish I could, I will not be able to answer by return email.)

I will need to know which radio program you will be tuning to for your answer:
Texas Lawn and Garden Hour broadcast statewide via more than 30 stations on Saturday morning 11:06-noon;
KLIF 570AM on Saturday afternoon 1-2pm, or
WBAP 820AM and 93.3FM Sunday morning 8-9.

If you don't list the station, I won't know where to answer.

That's what we call an e-gardens. Thanks for subscribing, friend, and I hope you've enjoyed it. I'm already working on ideas for next week, so until then…

Be safe, and Happy Gardening!



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