January/February

Plan and Sow:

  • Start planning for your vegetable/flower gardens.
  • Till in several inches of compost, composted bark or similar material.
  • Check out catalogs for seeds to plant in flats or containers to get a jump start  for spring. Petunia, begonias & impatiens should be sown in January and February.
  • Warm temperature plants-tomatoes, peppers, marigolds, & periwinkles should be sown indoors in late January and early February.
Plant:

  • Order Gladiola corms for February & March planting. Plant in 2 week intervals to prolong the flowering period.
  • When buying trees/shrubs, buy small to medium (4-6’). They are faster to establish and more effective in landscape than larger sizes. Check out proper tree planting and care from the Texas Forest Service.
Fertilize:

  • Pansies and other cool annuals with slow release.
  • Distribute 5 lbs cotton seed or alfalfa meal per 100 square feet or cornmeal slow release fertilizer product according to label instructions.
  • Do not fertilize new trees/shrubs until after they start growing.
Prune:

  • Shrubs-First prune dead/damaged branches. Then thin out by removing 1/3 canes/stems at ground level, removing oldest canes only.
  • Lastly, shape the rest of the plant.
  • This article from Texas A&M outlines proper pruning techniques.
Roses:

  • Climbing roses should be trained but not pruned at this time. It is always appropriate to remove dead or weak canes. Weave long canes through openings in trellises or arbors and tie them with jute twine or plastic or other plant ties. Securing canes now prevents damage from winter/spring winds, and contributes toward a more refined look to the garden when roses are blooming. Wait until after the spring flowering period to prune climbing or once-blooming shrub roses. (TAMU)
  • Hold off on pruning bush roses until February or early March. Use good shears that will make clean cuts. Remove dead, dying, and weak canes. Leave 4 to 8 healthy canes, and remove approximately one-half of the top growth and height of the plant. (TAMU)
  • Now is an excellent time to select and plant container-grown roses to fill in those bare spots in your rose garden. (TAMU)
Check:

  • Junipers and other narrow-leaf evergreens for bagworm pouches where insect eggs over-winter and will emerge in spring to start the cycle again.
  • Remove pouches by hand and burn pouches to reduce new damage.

“One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.”  ~W.E. Johns, The Passing Show

Information collected from Dr. William C. Welch, Professor & Landscape Horticulturist, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, College Station, TX

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