My garden of thoughts and dreams are filled with roses, climbing unencumbered over the trellis that frames the driveway, window boxes, cleaned of their winter bones, and filled to overflowing with flowers and ferns, herbs, dotting the pathways around the property, cottage annual beds, fenced simply, with sweet peas twining around posts, and sweet spring cabbages and greens, cut fresh, to be enjoyed as meals planned around those vegetables vying most for attention. In a few short weeks, these thoughts and dreams will become reality, with just a little soil, and toil.In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful. Abram L. Urban
While it seems to be deep in the throes of winter for most of the country, Central Texas has been enjoying more spring-like weather. Take advantage of these pretty days to get out in the garden, and get going and growing, preparing for the prettiest days to come-- the flourishing vegetables and flowers that are promised only a month or so ahead.
The following information is intended for those who garden in and around Zone 8. Planting times may differ in your area. Consult your local extension agency, and the USDA Hardiness Zone Map (and it's climate zone changes for 2012!), for accurate planting dates and zones.
Feed winter bloomers such as alyssum, dianthus and especially pansies. Fertilize maidenhair fern with bone meal.
Water everything well before a freeze, but avoid overwatering.
Plant bare root and container grown roses, shrubs, trees, groundcovers and vines. Move hardy seedlings outdoors. Divide and transplant perennial herbs and summer and fall blooming perennial flowers. Donate extras to a plant sale.
Add compost and/or fertilizer. Till deeply. Send in soil samples (forms available at the Extension Office). Check winter mulch and replenish if needed. Stockpile leaves for mulch and composting throughout spring and summer.
If lawn has a history of brown patch problems, treat with a labeled fungicide late in the month. Repeat treatment in 3 to 4 weeks, if needed.
Diseases/Pests to look for:
Apply pre-emergent weed killer to lawn. Spray fruit trees with dormant oil just prior to bud break. Call your local Extension Office (Travis County Extension Office can be reached at (512) 854-9600) for fruit and nut tree spray schedules, if not already completed in January.
Alyssum, Summer Forget-Me-Not, Snapdragon, Balloon Flower, Butterfly Weed, Calendula, Candytuft, Coneflower, Chrysanthemum, Cornflower, Delphinium, Dianthus, Daisy, Feverfew, Gaillardia, Larkspur, Liatris, Lobelia, Cardinal Flower, Monkey Flower, Nasturtium, Penstemon, Ornamental Cabbage and Kale, Pansy, Phlox, Stock, Johnny-Jump-Up, and Pansy.
Alyssum, Calendula, Candytuft, Cosmos, Nicotiana, Four o'clock, Gayfeather, Larkspur, Linaria, Marigold, Monkey Flower, Nasturtium, Penstemon, Petunia, Phlox, Salvia, Stock, Verbena, Sweet Pea, Sweet William.
Agapanthus, Amaryllis (in containers), Allium, Amarcrinum, Calla, Crinum, Dahlia, Daylily, Gladious, Spider Lily, Monkey Grass, Society Garlic, Tirgridia, Tulip.
Early—Mid Month: asparagus crowns, Broccoli plants, Cabbage plants, Cauliflower plants, Carrots, Chard, Onion bulbs, English and edible pod peas, Potato (Irish), Spinach.
Mid—Late Month: Mustard.
All Month: Beets, Collards, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Radish, Turnip.
Dill, Fennel, Garlic chives, Horseradish, Lemon Balm, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Summer Savory
Bare root or container grown Pecans, Fruit trees, Grapes, Berry bushes.
Courtesy of Central Texas Gardener and the Garden Guide for Austin Vicinity, published by the Travis County Master Gardener Association, copyright 2000-2002.
Tomorrow, join us for a look at what foods you'll find in season this month, on Notes From Maggie's Farm, In Season: February.