Here are January's most pressing gardening goals. I hope you find them useful. If so, you might consider buying our 2013 Texas Gardening Calendar. It has all this and a ton more, month-by-month, in concise bullet form. You can order or learn more by clicking here.
PLANT: Tulip and hyacinth bulbs you've been chilling in the refrigerator by early in month. Order and start seeds for spring flower, vegetable transplants in a greenhouse, coldframe or on a windowsill. New fruit, pecan trees, blackberries and grapes -- choose only varieties recommended for your part of the state. Transplanting of native or established trees, shrubs should be done during winter dormant season. English peas, onions are planted early in month in South Texas, late in month in North Texas.
PRUNE: Shade trees as needed to shape or remove damaged branches, also to remove lower branches for better sun penetration to turf. Do not "top" trees (crape myrtles included!) at any time for any reason. Mistletoe from tree limbs each winter. Do not allow it to become well established. Peach and plum trees to encourage spreading growth with bowl-shaped branching structure. Grapes to remove as much as 80 to 85 percent of cane growth. Train carefully along trellises. Evergreen shrubs as needed to maintain natural shape. Summer-flowering shrubs, vines. Avoid heavy pruning that might stimulate excessive regrowth at expense of flowers.
FERTILIZE: Root-stimulator fertilizer monthly to newly transplanted trees and shrubs. Cool-season annuals with diluted complete-and-balanced, water-soluble plant food each time that you water them. Houseplants with same type of fertilizer, but less often under indoor conditions.
ON THE LOOKOUT: Apply horticultural oil to eliminate scale insects from trees, shrubs. Apply broadleafed weedkiller during period of dry, warm weather to eliminate existing non-grassy weeds such as clover, henbit, dandelions, chickweed.
ODD JOBS: Mulch plants well to lessen winter damage to roots, stems. Take mower, trimmer and other power equipment in for repairs to avoid spring rush. Have soil tested now to avoid delays closer to planting times. Work with landscape designer now, so you'll be ready when spring arrives. Better yet, attend our Home Landscape School all day Jan. 26 in Plano.