Although you may be itching to get busy in the garden right now, this is still January ... the time when we get to take a break from most routine gardening chores. True gardening season doesn't normally start for us until mid-February.
But, if you find the weather just too inviting, and if, like me, you look for reasons to be outside, I've got a few ideas for you.
Before we officially dive head-first into gardening for 2012 ...
Sugar Land Home & Garden Show
- Kill Broadleaf Weeds - Things like clover, stinging nettle and thistles seem more prominent this January, probably due to the drought. It's still a good time to use cool-season herbicides, as noted in this recent email tip.
- Deep-Root Water and Feed Trees - After all the recent rains, you couldn't pick a better time to do-it-yourself. Here's a how-to article.
- Call a Tree Company to Prune Your Trees - January is considered the best month to prune big, well-established trees.
- Plant a Tree - This is especially important where trees were lost because of the drought. Containerized trees such as oak, maple and elm can and should be planted in January, mainly because you can find great deals. Also, our ground doesn't freeze, so the roots will be able to establish early, before the spring weather hits.
- Apply Dormant Oil Spray - If you've had a problem with scale on anything from a shrub to a tree, now is the time to apply dormant oil sprays, so they suffocate any sucking insects that have been wintering on your property.
- Replace Worn-Out Cool-Season Color - This is as simple as it gets. If your annual beds aren't looking so hot, replace them with some cool-season annuals that should last until April.
- Feed Cool-Season Annuals Once More - If your annuals don't actually need to be replaced, at least give them one more feeding with a controlled-release blooming plant food like Nelson's Color Star.
- Put Out Pre-Emergent Herbicide Early - Although Feb. 1 is our normal target date for application, I'm not going to stop you from putting it down 2-3 weeks early.
- Mulch, Mulch, Mulch - If you haven't added any new mulch in the past six months, now's a great time to add some to beds and trees. It also gives your landscape a clean, fresh look while everyone else's sort of looks worn-out and tired. (I'm sure I don't have to remind you to avoid dyed mulches, right?)
- Prepare Soil For Future Vegetable Gardens - It always helps to allow the soil-compost mix to "mellow" for 30-60 days before you seed or transplant.
- Visit a Fruit Tree Sale - Here's the schedule. The first one is this Saturday at the University of Houston campus, and it benefits the Urban Harvest.
- Visit Home and Garden Shows - Appropriately, we are broadcasting live Sat., Jan. 21, from the Sugar Land Home & Garden Show - one of the first of the season. The particulars are below.
This is only the second Sugar Land Home & Garden Show to be staged at the Stafford Centre, 10505 Cash Road at Murphy Road in Southwest Houston. There are directions at www.sugarlandhomeandgarden.com/
, and parking is free courtesy of KTRH, unlike all those shows at the big convention centers.
We will be broadcasting live 6-10 a.m. Saturday, although the doors don't open to the public until 9. I'll also be doing a seminar on recovering from the drought 10-30-11:30 on the KTRH Green Stage. The first 30 people at the seminar will get a free bag of Expand 'N Gro, an innovative new product from Miracle Gro.
Then, 11:30 to 1:30, I will be at the KTRH broadcast booth for a book-signing.
Among the GardenLine partners I know will be at the show with great deals:
Allied Outdoor Solutions - Home of the Carvestone process
Allied Siding & Windows - The most trusted siding and window company I know of
Garden Accents - Stone fountain, garden art, and self-contained pond specialists
Living Earth - The mulch, stone, and soil specialists of GardenLine
Root Wall Pro - The root-barricading and foundation-watering system specialists