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
Dove hunting tips (August 31, 2016)
Finding the right dog (August 31, 2016)
Kempen wins honors for third straight year (August 31, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (August 31, 2016)
Purchase or win lifetime hunting licenses; apply early (August 31, 2016)
Revisit the ol’ days (August 31, 2016)
Shade is a no-no for crape myrtles (August 31, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (August 31, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (August 31, 2016)
‘Cattleman’s Opportunity’ sale (August 31, 2016)
Boots, chutes, and prizes — rodeo athletes bring home honors (August 24, 2016)
Dove hunting: Longer season, lots of birds (August 24, 2016)
Grain production programs set (August 24, 2016)
It’s not the ideal time for oleanders (August 24, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (August 24, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (August 24, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (August 24, 2016)
Texas Tech meat team wins third consecutive title (August 24, 2016)
4-H’ers dare ‘To live so that the world may be a little better’ (August 17, 2016)
Alternative crops give growers options (August 17, 2016)
Capital Farm Credit scholarships (August 17, 2016)
Cattle shot in Karnes County (August 17, 2016)
Farm, Food Leadership Conference (August 17, 2016)
Karnes County show news (August 17, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (August 17, 2016)
Pumpkin-growing in South Texas (August 17, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (August 17, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (August 17, 2016)
Authorities seek info on theft of tractor (August 10, 2016)
Calvin Finch: Myths about ball moss (August 10, 2016)
Changes ahead for Veterinary Feed Directive (August 10, 2016)
Congress addresses U.S. GMO labeling (August 10, 2016)
Gathering of the white-tailed bucks club (August 10, 2016)
Lesser prairie-chicken taken off endangered list (August 10, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (August 10, 2016)
Longest fall dove season in 80 years (August 10, 2016)
Nine ways to win Big Time Texas Hunts (August 10, 2016)
No vacation for these girls; they’d rather rodeo (August 10, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (August 10, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (August 10, 2016)
Agri-Land Workshop Aug. 9 (August 3, 2016)
Antique Farm Equipment demo returns (August 3, 2016)
Authorities searching for suspects in equipment theft (August 3, 2016)
Deadline to win truck, ATV nears (August 3, 2016)
Dry spell leads to cracked soil (August 3, 2016)
Free Beef Quality Assurance training (August 3, 2016)
Keeping back-yard flocks healthy (August 3, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (August 3, 2016)
Mystery solved! (August 3, 2016)
Rodeo athletes ride, rope honors in state finals (August 3, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (August 3, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (August 3, 2016)
August 2016 Gardening Tasks (August 1, 2016)