Cold-hardy transplants can be planted when the
weather is mild.
This is a good time to plant trees, especially those
living Christmas trees, shrubs and
Crops such as arugula, cabbage, kale, chard and
other greens can be planted now.
Seeds in your greenhouse, if you have one, for transplants
later in the spring.
Transplant fruit and nut trees when the weather
is mild. This is also a good time to
start asparagus, berries, peas, grapes, onions, and potatoes.
Spring bulbs such as tulips and hyacinths can be
You still have time to get your garlic planted
if you haven’t already.
Continue to foliar feed your plants with compost
tea or one of the commercially available organic liquid fertilizers weather
permitting. Don’t forget the potted
plants still in your house.
Turfgrasses should be fed once this month with a
mild organic fertilizer. Humates are a
Some fruit and nut trees should be fertilized
DON”T PRUNE YOUR CREPE MYRTLES!!!
Prune shade trees to remove dead or diseased
limbs. If necessary, prune out of place
limbs or low hanging growth that may be a hazard. Prune carefully and judiciously.
Remove ground covers from around the root flare
of trees. If your trees don’t have a
visible root flare, this is a good time to expose those root flares.
Don’t deadhead your flowering annuals and
perennials. Leave the seeds for the
Don’t prune fruit trees and grapes. The best time to prune fruit trees and grapes
is just before bud break in the spring.
If removing plants, don’t pull the root
ball. Shear the plant stock at the
ground and leave the roots. They will
decompose and richen the soil.
Carefully prune evergreens to adjust their
Turf – Water as needed. Remember that deep, slow infrequent watering
is better than short duration watering on a regular basis. Turf should only be watered when needed, not
on a regular schedule. Cut back on watering during the winter months when most
turfgrasses are dormant.
Water potted plants and landscape plants as
Watering dry areas is especially important. Cold windy weather can dry soil quickly.
Pests and Diseases
Spot spray weeds with a 10% horticultural
vinegar solution to control weeds. Adding orange oil can help.
Check houseplants for spider mites, scale, and
aphids. Spray as needed with organic
pest controls. Add whole ground cornmeal
or dry granulated garlic to the soil.
Winter is a good time to remove mistletoe from
trees. It is easier to see and remove
when the trees are bare.
If possible, leave some flowering weeds for the
pollinators who remain active during the winter months. Henbit, clover, and other wildflowers are
essential to these insects during the winter.
If you have cold-hardy plants in the ground,
help them along by putting floating row covers over them before extreme weather
Now is a good time to have soil tests run that
will tell you about the organic matter and nutrients in your soil as well as
level of biological activity.
CAUTION: Most extension service
soil reports do not provide this kind of information. You will need to find a lab that performs
these specialized tests.
Don’t rake up and remove the leaves from your
trees. Mulch them into your turf. If you have too much, grind them finely and
add sparingly to your compost pile, your landscape beds, or your garden beds.
Turn your compost pile
Continue to spot spray weeds with a 10% vinegar
and water solution
Mulch any bare soil in your landscape
Feed and water the birds
Start preparing your garden beds for
spring. Apply rock minerals and a fresh
layer of wood chip mulch to your garden beds.
Till your soil
Scalp your yard
Spray or apply any synthetic man-made pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizer.
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Dennis and Penny Howard have been gardening almost as long as they have been married. Both retired, Dennis from a career as a professional firefighter and Penny as a school teacher and early childhood intervention specialist, now spend their time in the garden and greenhouse, trying to keep up with their three active grandsons, and traveling. Both are active with their local Texas Master Gardeners Association