We had a big discussion this past weekend about how much warmer it is this January than any January in the 10 years that Iíve been doing GardenLine in Houston. The reason the discussion was so important, was whether or not to move things up in the fertilization schedule, vegetable planting schedule and general landscaping schedule.
Since it is early in February anyway, the most definitive thing that has to be done, needs to be done, and should be done right now is the PRE-EMERGENT HERBICIDE per the Lawn Fertilization Schedule. But Iím still in a quandary as to whether to give that tacit approval to begin other things like the Early Green Up 15-5-10 application per the schedule. Thatís because there is still a distinct possibility that we could have something close to freezing weather this coming weekend/early next week.
Hypothetically, while it may seem impossible to have freezing weather, as weíve been enjoying record breaking heat, the possibility still exists Ė and it may be more than just a possibility if you look at the weather forecasts. Normally, I donít put much stock in to long-range weather forecasts, because weather experts will tell you that any weather prediction beyond 3 to 5 days is nothing short of conjecture. In other words, itís all a BIG GUESS!
But we are within that 3 to 5 day range right now, and here is the weather forecast that has me a bit bugged. Click Here
So, since there is a projection for weather close enough to the freezing mark for this weekend letís hold off on everything else but the pre-emergent herbicide. I wouldnít aerate, I wouldnít apply a 15-5-10, I wouldnít scalp for sure and I wouldnít be too concerned about pruning anything other than dormant trees.
Letís say for the sake of argument that there is a slight freeze in the Northern and Western suburbs this Sunday or Monday, if you did everything over the next two days to make things grow (grasses and shrubs), then the new growth (which could very well happen) is the most susceptible to freezing weather. And as such, it also acts like a straw or a conduit bringing in further freeze damage to the rest of the plant. You see, dormant plants (or leafless limbs/twigs) are the plantís own defense against freezing weather.
So, while I was hinting at the possibility last weekend that we might be able to get busy earlier than normal, letís go ahead and wait until next week, take one more look at the long-range forecast. If we, at the very least, wait until Feb. 15 like we normally do, that is historically the average annual last frost date.