Monthly Gardening Tasks For the Brazos Valley

GARDEN CALENDAR

[accordion]
[accordion_item title=”January”]
PLAN:  Now is the time to order gladiolus and dahlia bulbs. Get seed beds ready for such seed as nasturtium, petunia, pinks, scabiosa and snapdragon. Start plants of snapdragon, stock and tomatoes in flats if you have a sunny spot where you can protect them from freezes.
PRUNE:  If plants were injured by freezing, wait until all danger of further frost has passed before pruning.
PLANT:  Shrubs, roses and seedlings. Gladiolus after Jan. 20, being sure to cover lightly with 4″ soil.
FERTILIZE AND MULCH:  Iris, crepe myrtle, trees, strawberries, day lilies
INSECT AND DISEASE PROBLEMS:  Any plants showing scale should be sprayed with dormant oil. Hand pick bagworms to remove eggs that will hatch in May and June to re-infect host plants. Watch for aphids. Remove piles of plant debris which may harbor pests such as sow-bugs, pill-bugs, millipedes, caterpillars and beetle larvae.
WEATHER PROTECTION:  If a freeze is predicted, cover tender plants and shrubs with boxes or plastic trash cans [not metal]. Heavy paper also works well. After the freeze, remove cover promptly. If some frost has touched the leaves, spray with water before the sun shines on them.
BLOOMING:  Calendula, narcissus, pansy, jasmine, loquat, flowering quince, roses, many hardy annuals, perennials.
VEGETABLES: Sow directly in the garden: spinach, mustard, turnips, beets, English peas, carrots. Set out plants of cabbage and onion. Start inside plants of pepper, eggplant and tomato.

[/accordion_item]

[accordion_item title=”February”]
PLAN: Start a garden diary with places for botanical names, dates for planting, fertilizing and blooming. Decide what to plant for constant color in the garden and to coordinate with your interior decoration.
PRUNE: Roses, grape vines, summer-blooming shrubs.
PLANT: Dahlia, Dutch Iris, cornflower, cosmos, daisy, larkspur, nasturtium, petunia, phlox, pinks, scabiosa, water lily seeds, cuttings of hardwoods, chrysanthemums, ivy and climbing fig. Perennials may be divided and set in their new positions.
FERTILIZE: Figs, gardenias, blooming bulbs, nandina and other shrubs, trees.
INSECT AND DISEASE PROBLEMS: Plants showing scale not sprayed in January. Spray infested trees with dormant oil if not sprayed in January. Look for white grubs in the garden.
WEATHER PROTECTION: Keep plants in good condition by watering, but not enough to activate growth.
BLOOMING: Flowering quince, pansies, pinks, snapdragon and sweet pea.
VEGETABLES: Sow directly radishes, spinach, lettuce, chard, mustard, turnips, beets, carrots and sweet corn.  Set out plants of onion, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.  Plant potato eyes. Move tomato, eggplant and pepper plants to cold frame.  Start rooting sweet potatoes inside.
[/accordion_item]

[accordion_item title=”March”]
PLAN: Prepare soil to move mums next month if you divide plants rather than root new ones. Be sure to move each year. Pinch off tops for cuttings through May. Fertilize lightly each month until color shows in the bud. Use liquid fertilizer to force blossoms.
PRUNE: Finish pruning bush roses and dormant shrubs. Crepe myrtles may still be cut back one-third to one-half their height, but leave several buds to produce new shoots and to insure flowering. Prune any shrubs that have finished blooming.
PLANT: Cuttings taken from hardwood shrubs that have been pruned. Divide and reset cannas now. Canna beds need thinning every year for quality bloom. Set out plants of coral vine, dahlia, ferns, gerbera daisy, hibiscus, petunia, verbena. Seed planted after March 10 should grow.
FERTILIZE: Feed all roses, shrubs and plants with quick-acting fertilizer to stimulate rapid spring growth. Ageratum and flowering shrubs should not be too heavily fertilized at this time, because overfeeding of these tends to produce foliage at the expense of bloom. Do not allow fertilizer to touch stem or leaves of any young plants or seedlings unless it is a foliage fertilizer; it will cause them to scaled or rot. Trees may be fertilized this month. After ferilizing, be sure to mulch well. Also apply copperas or aluminum sulfate to gardenias. DO NOT fertilize grass this month as it is still partially dormant and cannot use the food, but the weeds can!
INSECT AND DISEASE PROBLEMS: Watch for red spider mite, aphids, thrips and bagworms. Begin looking for early-season leaf-feeding pests by the end of February and during March.
WEATHER PROTECTION: Watch for late frost and protect tender plants. Mulch against a hot dry summer. Water plants deeply if needed.
BLOOMING: All hardy annuals, many shrubs, trees and roses, many bulbs.
VEGETABLES: Sow directly radishes, lettuce, snap beans, dry beans, sweet corn, cucumber, okra, watermelon, and cantaloupes. Set out plants of tomato, eggplant and pepper plants and protect against frost.
[/accordion_item]

[accordion_item title=”April”]
PLAN: A regular schedule for fertilizing and spraying. Make a calendar for gardening use to remind you when to plant, fertilize, start seed and place orders.
PRUNE: Early flowering trees and shrubs after they bloom.
PLANT: Coral vine, cosmos, elephant ears, gladiolus, hibiscus, marigolds, zinnias. Divide mums and place in beds prepared in March. Too early to plant periwinkles since they like warm soil.
FERTILIZE: Lawns, with extra fertilizer for areas under trees.
INSECT AND DISEASE PROBLEMS: Watch for black spot, aphids, caterpillars, beetles, mites, and whiteflies. Check roses after each rain and treat if necessary. Chinch bugs and brown spot my appear in the lawn.
WEATHER PROTECTION: Mulch. Water deeply if needed. Protect small trees from wind.
BLOOMING: Spring flowering annuals and perennials, geranium, iris, calla and Easter lilies, oxalis, early day lilies and gladiolus. Many flowering shrubs and vines.
VEGETABLES: Sow radishes, southern peas, summer squash, snap beans, dry beans, sweet corn, cucumber, okra, watermelon, cantaloupes and New Zealand spinach. Start tomato plants for second crop.
[/accordion_item]

[accordion_item title=”May”]
PLAN: Make plans to mulch for conservation of water during dry summer months and to help keep soil cool. Add hot weather plants to the garden.
PRUNE: Cut back verbenas, petunias and other plants that are beginning to look lanky to encourage new growth and flowering. Separate and replant violets when they finish blooming.
PLANT: Cockscomb, marigolds, periwinkle, bachelor buttons, caladium, coleus, hibiscus, other summer blooming annuals, balled shrubs.
FERTILIZE: Roses and plants that continue blooming and those producing buds for next year’s bloom. Keep beds lightly cultivated or mulched.
INSECT AND DISEASE PROBLEMS: Check roses for pests and black spot, mildew and rust. Watch for young bagworms.
WEATHER PROTECTION: Protect roots from the sun with mulch. Water deeply. Shade young seedlings until well established.
BLOOMING: Spring flowering annuals, perennials. Begonias, cactus, canna, day lilies, many shrubs.
VEGETABLES: Sow southern peas, sweet corn, watermelon, cantaloupes and New Zealand spinach. Set out sweet potato plants.
[/accordion_item]

[accordion_item title=”June”]
PLAN: To keep flowers cut to prolong blooming. Select bulbs for fall planting. Adjust the lawnmower blade so it does not cut too close.
PRUNE: Cut older canes of oleander, climbing roses and others which bloom on new growth. Prune pittosporum, ligustrum, junipers, etc. for compact growth.
PLANT: Cockscomb, cosmos, marigold, zinnia, balsam, impatiens.
FERTILIZE: Dahlias, every two weeks after buds appear until first bloom. Mums, monthly.
INSECT AND DISEASE PROBLEMS: Continue to check roses for black spot, and both roses and mums for aphids and thrips. Check for chinch bugs in the lawn. Also look for lace bugs, whiteflies, spider mites and scale insects.
WEATHER PROTECTION: Water deeply and mulch. BLOOMING: Dahlia, shasta daisy, gladiolus, althea, vitex, hibiscus, oleander, day lily and many annuals and perennials, shrubs and trees.
VEGETABLES: Sow southern peas, pumpkins, watermelon and cantaloupes. Set out second crop of tomato plants for fall crop.
[/accordion_item]
[accordion_item title=”July”]
PLAN: To clean out flower beds and alter their design if desired. Let roses and other fall-flowering plants rest for the next two months. Start poinsettia cuttings to be rooted for Christmas bloom.
PRUNE: Pinch back mums for the last time. Cut out dead wood. Trim plants that need to be properly shaped. Crepe myrtle spent blooms may be pruned to encourage repeat blooming.
PLANT: This is not a good month for planting. If summer blooming seeds are planted, care must be taken to keep beds moist until germination occurs and well-watered afterward.
FERTILIZE: Mums, lawns, trees and shrubs. Take care using fertilizer in hot weather – apply lightly and keep well-watered or plants will burn.
INSECT AND DISEASE PROBLEMS: Continue to check for previous mentioned insects and diseases.
WEATHER PROTECTION: Cultivate lightly, mulch and water deeply. DO NOT sprinkle. BLOOMING: Crape myrtle, hibiscus, oleander, plumbago, day lilies, confederate rose, althea, many other summer annuals and perennials.
VEGETABLES: Sow southern peas, summer squash, collards, cantaloupe, winter squash, cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower.
[/accordion_item]

[accordion_item title=”August”]
PLAN: To start a compost heap with grass clippings. Start cuttings for winter house plants. Dry clippings for mulch. Let the sun purify flower beds this month. Be sure cold frames are ready for seed to be sown the last of the month. Place orders for bedding plants.
PRUNE: Cut out sucker growth. Cut out dead canes and wilted blooms on roses. Keep the runners pruned off wisteria and perennial morning glory. Seed pods should be cut from crepe myrtle to encourage new bloom.
PLANT: Carnation, hollyhock, larkspur, pinks, pansy, snapdragon, stock. Transplant Japanese and Siberian iris.
FERTILIZE AND MULCH: Mums after pinching back. Roses the last of this month for fall.
INSECT AND DISEASE PROBLEMS: Continue to check mums and roses and for scale on shrubs.
WEATHER PROTECTION: Soak beds where spider lilies are planted and they will bloom in September. Maidenhair fern should be kept well watered.
BLOOMING: Althea, ageratum, balsam, celosia, Cornflower, canna, crinum, day lilies, zinnia, shrimp plant.
VEGETABLES: Sow snap beans, lima beans, mustard, kale, turnips, collards, carrots and onions. Set out tomato plants for fall crop.
[/accordion_item]

[accordion_item title=”September”]
PLAN: To destroy all old stalks and leaves that shelter insects. Buy and refrigerate tulip, hyacinth, and narcissus bulbs for about two months. Prepare beds for strawberries and for early spring flowers. Divide violets if you have not already done so.
PRUNE: Dead stems on all plants.
PLANT: Bells of Ireland, cornflower, pansy, calendula, candyturf, carnation, delphinium, hollyhock, larkspur, sweet William, pinks, snapdragon, stock. Divide and replant iris.
FERTILIZE: Amaryllis. Give mums a feeding of liquid fertilizer now and keep well watered. Prepare beds for fall planting.
INSECT AND DISEASE PROBLEMS: Check for aphids, webworms, black spot and armyworms. Treat fire ants.
WEATHER PROTECTION: Keep well-watered to combat hot, dry weather.
BLOOMING: Cannas, day lilies, bedding begonia, hibiscus, roses, zinnia and many others.
VEGETABLES: Sow beets, carrots, chard, radishes, spinach, cucumber, lettuce, mustard, kale, turnips, collards and onions.
[/accordion_item]
[accordion_item title=”October”]
PLAN: To order bulbs not bought last month. Pot up plants to add color indoors during the winter.
PRUNE: Cuttings of shrimp plant may be taken now for winter house plants. Root-prune wisteria that failed to bloom. Apply superphosphate, fill cuts with soil or peat and water throughly.
PLANT: Madonna, calla, Easter and regal lilies, amaryllis, anemone, ranunculus, and strawberry plants. Divide Shasta daisy, ajuga, forget-me-nots. Plant all hardy annuals, sweet pea and pansy. Transplant seedlings that are large enough. Day lilies and amaryllis may be divided and replanted.
FERTILIZE AND MULCH: Mums with liquid manure. Lawns and roses. Add superphosphate to day lilies, wisteria. Add compost to beds.
INSECT AND DISEASE PROBLEMS: Continue to watch for scale, stink bugs, leaf-footed bugs, squash bugs and others.
BLOOMING: Cosmos, mums, dahlia, plumbago, roses, alliums, pyracantha, Michaelmas daisy.
VEGETABLES: Sow spinach, turnips, collards, mustard, lettuce, beets, kale, onions and radishes.
[/accordion_item]

[accordion_item title=”November”]
PLAN: To rake and collect all dead tree leaves for mulching and winter protection of tender plants or for compost pile. Design and prepare beds for roses and other shrubs.
PRUNE: Flowering perennial stalks that have finished blooming. Trim dead part of leaves from bearded iris. Stop cutting spent rose blossoms off so the bushes will go dormant for cold weather.
PLANT: Lily of the valley and Dutch iris in pots for gifts. Tulips and hyacinths that have been refrigerated may be planted this month and next. Most other bulbs, phlox, poppy, pinks, salvia, scabiosa, sweet peas, sweet William, trumpet creeper, wisteria, clematis, honeysuckle, larkspur, petunia.
FERTILIZE AND MULCH: Did superphosphate into all bulb beds and around bearded iris. Give extra feeding to bulbs as soon as tops come into view. Sweet peas, pansies and amaryllis need fertilizer.
INSECT AND DISEASE PROBLEMS: Watch for bacterial and soft rot in the rhizomes and crowns of the iris.
WEATHER PROTECTION: Bank soil around shrubs if frost is predicted. Cover smaller plants carefully. Water sufficiently.
BLOOMING: Alyssum, calendula, candytuft, mums, cosmos, Michaelmas daisy, petunias, verbena, jasmine, lantana, loquat, roses and many other annuals, perennials, shrubs and vines.
VEGETABLES: Sow lettuce, spinach, mustard, turnips, radishes, and English peas.

[/accordion_item]

[accordion_item title=”December”]
PLAN: For cold weather protection. Collect large cardboard boxes for plant covers. Clean up beds and prepare new ones. Bag and trash diseased or bug infected debris. Do not put debris from mums in the compost, leave bagged at curbside. NO BURNING ALLOWED WITHOUT SPECIAL PERMITS!
PRUNE: Perennials that have finished blooming. Keep sweet pea and pansy blooms picked for longer blooming period. Cut dahlia stalks not quite to the ground because the eyes for next year’s growth are in the stalk. Lift, dry for 24 hours and store with the tuber inverted to avoid shrinkage. DO NOT prune ornamentals this month.
PLANT: Jonquils, narcissus, daffodils, hyacinths and Dutch iris. Dormant trees, shrubs, and roses. Amaryllis, anemones, tulips, pansy, petunia, carnation, poppy, snapdragon, larkspur, verbena and many others.
FERTILIZE: Only sweet peas.
INSECT AND DISEASE PROBLEMS: After hard frost, treat figs for borer and mealy bugs as recommended by the County Agent. Spray for scale on shrubs and trees.
WEATHER PROTECTION: Be prepared to cover tender plants if freeze is predicted. Keep watered enough to keep plants in good condition, but not so much as to start new growth. If the ground is dry and a hard freeze is predicted, water well.
BLOOMING: Alyssum, calendula, forget-me-nots, pansy, dianthus, salvia, verbena, violet, roses. Pyracantha, yaupon, holly and nandina berries.
VEGETABLES: Sow lettuce, spinach, and English peas.
[/accordion_item]
[/accordion] 

Recent Posts