January 2013 Gardening Calendar
This is an occasional column available to all users. Watch for Calvin Finch's weekly column, South Texas Gardener, every week in the Wilson County News. Subscribe today! https://wilsoncountynews.com/subscribe-today.php?
January is our coldest month. Make sure all of your freeze protection materials are close at hand--blankets, plastic or the new “plankets” to cover and poultry lights, mechanics lights or strings of holiday lights for a heat source. Cover cyclamen blooms at 30 degrees. A good rule of thumb for citrus is to cover at 28 degrees and use a heat source at 25 degrees.
There is still time to plant onions. Prepare the soil by adding a cup of lawn fertilizer for every 50 square feet of bed. If you plant the onions every 2 inches in a row, the middle two plants will have to be thinned by mid-March to allow plenty of room for the remaining onions to produce full bulbs.
Side-dress each 8 feet of row with a cup of lawn fertilizer every three weeks after planting to encourage large bulbs.
Pre-chilled tulip bulbs can be planted early in the month along with larkspur transplants and bluebonnet transplants.
It is a good time to plant trees and shrubs. They perform much better through the first summer if they have time to develop roots before the summer heat.
Live oak, Texas red oak, Mexican white oak, bur oak, cedar elm, Mexican sycamore, chinkapin oak, lacey oak and Chinese pistache are all good shade trees. CPS will provide a rebate if the trees are planted on the south or west side of the house. Obtain the application from your favorite nursery or the CPS website.
Don’t forget the small trees in addition to shade trees. Small trees are important to have a balanced landscape and for wildlife. Consider Texas redbud, loquat, Mexican plum, ornamental pear, crepe myrtle, desert willow, Texas persimmon and oriental persimmon.
Recommended shrubs include viburnum, pomegranate, Texas mountain laurel, old fashioned roses, the tough modern roses, hollies, nandinas and eleagnus.
If you keep harvesting your greens leaf by leaf as you need them, they should keep supplying you until May. The safest plan is to never remove more than one third of the foliage at a time. Use carrots, beets, turnips and rutabagas as you need them, as well. The remaining crop will store well in the cool soil until you are ready to use them.
The paperwhites and daffodils will emerge this month. The lush, green foliage is a welcome addition to the landscape. It is also a good time to plant the forced paperwhites that you received as a holiday gift. They will naturalize in full or partial sun.
If you miss lawn work, mow the weeds to keep them from going to seed. It is also a good time to aerate and top dress your lawn. Rent a plug-cutting aerator and then spread one half inch of compost over the lawn. It will filter into the aeration holes and provide organic material for the root system. Use compost rather than top dressing. The top dressing includes sand, which is just a filler. The compost is the active ingredient.
If you feed the birds, you can expect cardinals, blue jays, chickadees, titmice, doves, American sparrows, English sparrows, goldfinches and house finches to come in for easy observation. If you include suet blocks, the mockingbirds, wrens, starlings, kinglets and even some warblers will hang about--especially if the month is cold.
Calvin Finch Ph.D. is a Horticulturist and Director with Texas A&M Water Conservation and Technology Center.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Hay & Forage Report (March 25, 2015)
Herbicides and wildflowers (March 25, 2015)
It's showtime in La Vernia (March 25, 2015)
La Vernia Junior Livestock & Poultry Show (March 25, 2015)
Less severe drought for next two decades (March 25, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (March 25, 2015)
Rainfall Report (March 25, 2015)
TDA Market Report (March 25, 2015)
Addressing feral hog population (March 18, 2015)
FFA members scramble, catch calves at SA rodeo (March 18, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (March 18, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (March 18, 2015)
Mexico ex-President Fox to address cattle raisers (March 18, 2015)
Mowing tips for various lawn types (March 18, 2015)
Stripe and leaf rust infestation (March 18, 2015)
TDA Market Report (March 18, 2015)
Tractor City to host Drive Green Demo Days event on March 28 (March 18, 2015)
U.S. meat industry: Red meat is healthy (March 18, 2015)
Cattlemen continue to blow hot over COOL (March 11, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (March 11, 2015)
La Vernia stock show March 26-28 (March 11, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (March 11, 2015)
Nixon-Smiley Livestock Show and Sale (March 11, 2015)
Nixon-Smiley youth ready to enter arena (March 11, 2015)
Overrun by unfamiliar weeds (March 11, 2015)
Ramzinski wins at SA stock show (March 11, 2015)
TDA Market Report (March 11, 2015)
Team roping news (March 11, 2015)
USDA extends farm program deadline (March 11, 2015)
Cattlemen say ‘whoa’ to government’s ‘sustainable’ diet (March 4, 2015)
CHTR to hold Trail Ride March 13-14 (March 4, 2015)
Expert on saving family lands to speak in SA (March 4, 2015)
Farmers connect with community (March 4, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (March 4, 2015)
La Vernia stock show buyers pool seeks donations (March 4, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (March 4, 2015)
Plants that make landscape pop (March 4, 2015)
Poultry judging honors (March 4, 2015)
TDA Market Report (March 4, 2015)
Top broilers at SA stock show (March 4, 2015)
March 2015 Gardening Calendar (March 1, 2015)