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Gardening Q&A

Ask the Master Gardeners: January 2013




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Disclaimer:
Guadalupe County Master Gardeners is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.

January 2, 2013 | 973 views | Post a comment

Q: Can I plant roses this time of year?

A: Roses can be planted almost year round according to Doug Welsh, Extension horticulturist. If you plant the dormant packaged roses now, they will be blooming by late spring. Potted roses can be planted any time; however, remember that summertime planting of anything is hard on a plant. My roses outside my window as I write this have been through three freezes and look great. They are not blooming, but the leaves are green and that is a plus this time of year. If you want a large robust bush, plant the Mutabilis rose. It has been around since 1894, and has lovely blooms that range from yellow to orange to pink to reddish. It does get big so leave enough space. We have one on the east side of the Extension building that is taking over its area.

Q: The nursery has bare root fruit trees. Should I save them in a pot for spring?

A: Plant them now because their root system will have a chance to get established before spring growth and before the heat of the summer. I can personally recommend several crops that you should plant. Figs do wonderfully here as do persimmons. Blueberries also do well with almost no diseases or insects (in fact, our main problem was keeping the mockingbirds out of the bushes). Blueberries do need to be planted in pots of peat, however, as our soils are not acidic. My three bushes are about nine years old and have been repotted three or four times into larger pots. Remember that most apples, pears, and plums need cross pollination by another variety. Also, it is important that peaches, plums, apples and pears have a certain number of chilling hours (between 32 degrees F. and 45 degrees F.) in order to end their dormancy and produce blooms. Your local nursery man will know which variety is good for your area. I'm afraid that we won't have enough chilling hours for my plum trees this year.

Q: I've cut the heads off of most of my broccoli plants. Can I pull them up now? What else can be in the winter garden?

A: Broccoli plants put out small auxiliary heads around where the main head was. Leave your plant in the ground until you get tired of broccoli. This winter has been great for cos or Romaine lettuce. I keep cutting the outer leaves and new ones form. My kohlrabi is almost big enough to eat, we've gotten lots of bok choy leaves for our salad, and we've eaten a few snow peas. This is my first year for planting leeks so do not know when they will be ready to eat, although the literature says 100 to 120 days or one to two inches in diameter. Mine are about the size of multiplying onions right now. I guess this means that they will be ready by the end of February. My onion plants are planted and my beets are looking good.

Clara Mae Marcotte is a Texas Master Gardener with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. If you have a question to be answered, call the Master Gardeners at 830-379-1972 or leave a message to be answered. The website is guadalupecountymastergardeners.org. The Master Gardener research library is open Mondays from 8:30 to noon, on the second floor of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension building, 210 East Live Oak in Seguin.
 
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