Still Too Early to Work the Landscape
But Never Too Late to Keep Learning
I realize after a week of temperatures in the 70s, you may be champing at the bit to either get busy gardening or revamping that which was damaged by the early 2010 freeze.
Hold on there, cowboys and cowgirls. Statistically, we always wait until Feb. 15 to get significantly busy, but we may have to wait until March 1 this year, because there's no guarantee we aren't going to have any more freezes.
Weather history tells us that March 1-15 is considered the average annual last-frost period for this part of Texas. And if we do a bunch of pruning back now, and we get any kind of significant freeze between now and March 1, the damage will be exacerbated. What happens is the freshly pruned wood can act like a straw with cold weather, pulling it further into the plant.
This also reminds us, in more than one way, why one should still wait a bit longer to prune the crape myrtles. A lot of industrial landscape crews are not only pruning at the wrong time, by pruning this week they are over-pruning. And you should know why the GardenLine faithful can never be caught committing that atrocity.
But what can you do if you're anxious to get busy? First, you can build those veggie beds. Build them now and let them rest a few weeks before we start cheating Mother Nature in mid-February as we tend to do. You can construct landscape beds, too. You probably shouldn't plant for a month, but a "rested" soil will benefit you down the line as well.
You can also keep getting yourself "ed-u-micated," as comedian Bob Nelson was known to say over 20 years ago. There are still several seminars at the remaining fruit tree sales, and there's a High-Density Home Orchard Management Seminar with Angela Chandler this weekend at the Arbor Gate, and you should register. There are classes at noon and 2 p.m.
Also, the Urban Harvest is always conducting seminars and classes. Plus, there are a number of classes at the A&M County Extension offices in Harris, Fort Bend, and Galveston counties.
Learn from the experts first. Then, we should be able to get busy in just under 45 days.
So, plan your work, but wait at least one more month before you work you plan, my friend. It's been a goofy year weather-wise so far, and there is no logical way to predict, just yet, if we are done with potential freezes.
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