“It’s January”… What needs to be done
- Plant trees, shrubs and woody ornamentals from nursery containers. Plant slightly above ground line to allow root flare to be exposed.
- Transplant small trees and shrubs while they are dormant. Water the plant well before digging.
- Plant cold-tolerant herbs such as chives, cilantro, garlic and parsley. Onions from transplants can be planted late month.
- Seed for warm-weather annuals can be planted in flats in a temperature-controlled environment. Tomatoes and peppers, especially those hard-to-find varieties in the spring, can be started from seed mid-month. All require bright light and warm temperatures (60-70ºF). Use grow lights for best results.
- Tulip and hyacinth bulbs, which have been chilled for eight weeks, should be planted immediately.
- Plant blackberries, fruit and nut trees. Cultivar or variety selection is critical. Contact the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Ellis County at (972) 825-5175 or visit http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/fruit-nut for recommended varieties.
PRUNING AND FERTILIZING
- Prune trees, including live oaks and red oaks, to remove dead, broken and unwanted branches. Apply pruning paint to any cut/wound on your oak trees to prevent oak wilt.
- Water newly planted trees and shrubs as needed. Apply a liquid root stimulator monthly.
- Peach and plum trees should be pruned to stimulate lateral branches and keep their “bowl” shape. Thin out branches to open the center to allow more sunlight resulting in fruit production over the entire tree.
- Apply blood meal or a slow-release fertilizer to pansies and other cool-season annuals.
- Maintain free-form crape myrtles by removing “sprouts” growing from the base, but NEVER cut the tops out. It produces unsightly knots and delays blooming. Removing spent seed pods is okay.
- Remove by hand broadleaf weeds, such as clover, dandelions, henbit and chickweed in lawns and beds. If necessary, spray turf with a broadleaf herbicide when temperatures are above 70°F. Be careful when using herbicides in flower beds to prevent the drift from harming desirable plants.
- Don’t Guess. Soil Test! The best way to determine your soil’s fertility needs is to have it tested. Contact the local AgriLife Extension office at (972) 825-5175 for a Soil Sample information form or go to http://soiltesting.tamu.edu.