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Let’s Talk About Jaunary 2017

By: Pat Cordray

January is here, I can’t believe it, but it is true. January could feel like fall, winter or even spring. It is hard to tell which way it will be. This year we are starting the month off with winter. The thing that I have almost always felt about January is that it is a gray month. No matter the temperature, it seems to be gray. The gray skies aside, there is still gardening to be done. What can be planted now? There are color plants, tulips, trees, and if you hurry, cool weather veggies to plant.

First, the freeze warning!

If we have a freeze warning for our area, the very first thing to do is to water your plants; this protects the roots, so water thoroughly, not just for 60 seconds. Next, cover your plant’s tent the fabric to the ground, then secure it with pegs. Once the weather warms up remove the fabric. Use fabric made to protect plants or use fabric to cover the plant and plastic to cover the fabric, like a windbreaker. For hanging baskets, take them in or set them on the ground, water and cover. For plants in containers, take them in or water and cover. These instructions are for plants that are tender to the cold. This doesn’t freeze proof your tender plants but it will help add just a little warmth and that may be all that is needed to save a plant. It is better to be prepared than to be scrambling around at the last minute trying to find your cold weather gardening supplies. So, place your N-Sulate cloth and pegs where you can find them. The Nursery usually keeps these supplies in stock if needed.                                                                                                                              

Wonderland Poppy

Now, we can talk about color plants. Did I mention that January is a gray month? Well, to help brighten up your garden add color!  Even if you just plant one container that you can see from the house.  These plants can add a little bit of happiness to a drab month.  What to plant?  Pansies, violas, poppies, alyssum, lobelia, snapdragons, stock, dianthus and mix in a few plants that will bloom a little later.  Like larkspur, sweet pea, foxglove, delphinium and bluebonnet. All of these plants will give you brilliant color and smiles.   Plant in full sun to get the most blooms and feed with Microlife every 6 weeks or so.

Frizzle Sizzle Pansy 

You should get your tulips planted pronto. Tulips need to be refrigerated for 4-6 weeks before planting. Once you take them out of the refrigerator go ahead and plant them. Wait for a gray day to plant, not a sunny day. Plant in containers or raised beds. Plant from mid-December to mid-January. They will bloom in 6-8 weeks after planting.

Magenta Swiss Chard 
For vegetable gardening, you are not too late. You can still plant broccoli, cabbage, Swiss chard, kale, collards, lettuce, mustard, peas, radish, turnip. So, get busy and get these cool weather plants in your garden now, before the heat catches up with us.

January is a good time to plant trees in our area. If you are considering a tree for your landscape there are a few questions to answer to make sure you are getting the right tree for your yard. What is the mature size of the tree? How big is your yard? Where will the tree be placed in the yard? By a pool? Close to the house? What do you want the tree to provide? Shade? Flowers? Privacy? Fruit? Or something else. Do you want an evergreen or a deciduous tree? Once these questions are answered you should have a good idea of the size, shape and what the tree needs to provide to your landscape. Check out my limited list of trees below. For complete tree information, check out our website, maasnursery.com. Click on the plant library tab, then select trees in the drop-down menu.  


Shumard Red Oak 
Live oak trees are evergreen and grow to 40′-80′ tall with a spread of 80′-100′. Provides dense shade, Texas native.
Red oaks are deciduous, the red oaks we carry are Shumard red oak that grows 50-90′ tall and Nuttall red oak that grows to 60′-75’tall and 40′-60′ spread. Both are Texas natives.
Cypress bald, Bald cypress trees are deciduous and grow to 50′-70′ tall with a spread of 20′-30′, Texas native. Montezuma cypress trees grow to 40′ tall with a spread of 40′, Texas native.
Maple Red, Summer red maple trees are deciduous trees growing 35′-40′ tall and 20′-25′ wide. Red maples also include San Felipe red maple, Drummond red maple & Trident red maple. These are deciduous trees growing 30-70′ tall with a 40-60′ spread.
Chinese pistache is a deciduous tree that grows to 40-50′ tall with a spread of 30′.
Fringe Tree is a deciduous tree that grows from 15-25′ tall and 12-15’wide
Mexican Plum is a deciduous tree that can grow to 15-35′ tall and a mature spread of 20-25′.
Happy New Year,