This is the time of year for dreaming and planning. Have you been setting aside and reading all your seed and plant catalogs? There are very few things that are more fun than sitting in front of a roaring fire in the fireplace and reading and planning your Spring planting. I always use a blank piece of paper and sketch out my flowerbeds and raised beds so I will know how many plants will fit where. Then I start reading about the old classic (antique) plants and flowers and the new plants and flowers and begin to place the plants on paper where I think they might do their best in the garden.
Keep in mind the size of the plant in considering placement so that you don’t end up with a short plant in the back and a larger/ taller sun blocking plant in front of it. Also, pay attention to soil condition, shade, sun, and moisture conditions for each location and plant selection. Every place in your garden has a plant that will do well in that place. Your job is to find that right plant for every place.
The catalogs are pouring in and they are really colorful and full of the old and the new seeds, plants and gardening tools and products. Dixondale Farms, www.dixondalefarms.com, as they say “they know Onions” and boy do they. Rufus Arrington introduced me to them. Territorial Seed Company, www.territorialseed.com (800-626-0866) has over 125 new veggies. Their catalog contains over 157 pages of pure temptations. Kitchen Garden Seeds, www.kitchengardenseeds.com, have been in business since 1908 and have great heirloom veggies and herbs. McClure and Zimmerman, www.mzbulb.com (800-883-6998) are dedicated to Bulb enthusiast with planting guide in their catalog. The Cook’s Garden has seeds and plants for the gourmet gardeners. Their web site is www.cooksgarden.com or call 800-457-9703. R.H. Shumway has been around for 143 years. Their web site is www.rhshumway.com or call 800-342-9461. Another is Burpee www.burpee.com (800-888-1447) with 147 pages of veggies and supplies to choose from. Last but certainly not least is Jung Quality Seeds this is their 100 year in the business, www.jungseed.com (800-247-5864). They have everything from flowers to veggies to fruits. Certainly there are more catalogs out there than these eight; I just wanted to give you a taste of what is out there.
January’s Garden Duties
This is the preferred time to plant trees as is February and March. Hope you have selected what you want to plant and where. Always keep in mind the size of the tree at its maturity. Plant Native whenever you can they are less susceptible to diseases and more likely to stay healthy and grow vigorously. Check with your local garden centers and nurseries for the exact species you need to plant for your chosen location.
Other things to do this month are:
•It is time to spray our fruit trees with dormant oil. I like Orange oil for this.
•Mulch vegetation for freeze protection and water retention in the soil
•Start selecting onion sets
•Keep watering regularly
•Provide cover for those extra sensitive to cold plants
•Plant Strawberries, and vegetable seeds later this month
•Start tomatoes in your greenhouses (if you have one)
•Plant fruit trees, berries, grapes, and pecan trees
•If you still have your Christmas tree then plant it if it is alive or recycle it if not
• For more January duties go to my book “Gardening in the Texas Hill Country” pages 100-105
Start Your Chainsaws
Yes, that long awaited time is finally here; it is now time to prune the Live Oak trees. Begin by choosing which branches really need to be removed. Once the decision has been made then start your cut some two to three inches away from the main trunk, leaving a room for the cut to heal. If the cut is more than two inches in diameter be sure to paint the wound. A simple black pruning spray will do the job. (I don’t like “will dos”, do you?). If you are going to prune more than one tree be sure to clean the saw blade with some product such as Lysol. You can do this by spraying the blades or by submersion in the same product and run the blades for a minute or two. This cleansing application helps to stop the wilt diseases from spreading to other trees if you have wilt in the trees you are trimming.
WARNING: It is still NOT time to prune fruit trees.
Till Next Month!
Keep your souls and your soles in your garden!
Remember the True Master Gardener: Jesus said, “I am the vine; my Father is the Gardener.” John 15:1
Have questions or comments? Contact Bill Luedecke at The Luedecke Group Realtors, P.O. Box 1632, Bertram, TX. 78605 (no Post Office in Oatmeal) or email email@example.com. For additional gardening web sites, go to his web site; www.TexasLand.Net and click on links.