VOLUME 20, ISSUE 3 • January 18, 2024

Neil Sperry editor. Gretchen Drew design and circulation.


That last week of weather was unpleasant, wasn't it! Texas shouldn't have to cope with such weather. And another round is coming later tonight. Sit tight and stay warm as you read.

In this issue…
Birds asking for help;
Next tasks in line;
Testing the new Hardiness Zone Map;
Steven Chamblee coasts by; and
I tackle the mailbag

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Photo: Garden pinks brighten late winter, then last well into spring.


Gardening This Weekend

If you're new to Texas, and if you moved here from Minneapolis, Des Moines, or Buffalo, just give us Texans a little patience. This has been a rough week for us as tenderfoot gardeners. I'm going to catch us all up with the things we need to get done. Take a look.

Photo: Dandelion control is easy with a 2,4-D product.


Native Son: Next Year's Garden

Steven’s been pining for vines. Vines our grandmamas grew. And he’s come to tell us about them. Great story!

Photo: In a contemplative moment, Steven Chamblee considers which vines will climb his trellis this season.


A Yard Filled with Birds

It's been years since we've had this many birds at our feeders. This week has brought them out in big numbers. They're one of the great things about gardening, and I'll give you a few things I've picked up. It's a fun way to pass time when it's too cold to go out.

Photo: Tufted titmouse stops by for a snack.


Check the New Map, Please

The USDA in tandem with the United States National Arboretum just issued a new Plant Hardiness Zone Map for the entire United States. With this week's cold blast fresh in our memories, this is the best possible time to give it a test drive. I'll walk you through it.

Photo: I still think the 1990 Hardiness Zone Map is our most accurate. I'll explain why.


Ask Neil

Is there a pre-emergent for dallisgrass? What’s the best low-growing shrub? Can I keep a schefflera compact? Do new landscape plants need to be watered during the winter. All this and more. See how I answered them.


And, in closing…

That's what I've put together for this cold week's e-gardens. I'm already working on some great topics for next week.

Take care of those plants that were hit hard by the cold. Don't start pruning out freeze damage just yet, especially on woody plants. Give them a few weeks to rebound as spring starts to kick in. They might just surprise you. (More on that as I can observe.)

Until next week, thanks for reading.

And Happy Gardening!



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