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Ellis County Lawn and Garden EXPO –

Saturday,  March 30, 2019


It’s January… What Needs To Be Done


  • Plant trees, shrubs and woody ornamentals from nursery containers.  Plant slightly above ground line to allow root flare to be exposed.
  • Transplant small trees and shrubs while they are dormant.  Water the plant well before digging it.
  • Plant cold-tolerant herbs such as chives, cilantro, garlic and parsley; onion transplants late month.
  • Seed for warm-weather annuals can be planted in flats in a temperature-controlled environment.  Tomatoes and peppers can be started from seed mid-month.  All require bright light and warm temperatures (60-70oF).  Use grow lights for best results.
  • Tulip and hyacinth bulbs which have been chilled for 8 weeks should be planted immediately.
  • Plant blackberries, fruit and nut trees.  Contact the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Ellis County at 972-825-5175 or visit http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/fruit-nut for recommended varieties.  Cultivar or variety selection is critical.


  • Prune trees, including live oaks and red oaks, to remove dead, broken and unwanted branches.  Apply pruning paint to any cut/wound on your oak trees to prevent oak wilt.
  • Water newly planted trees and shrubs as needed; and apply a liquid root stimulator monthly.
  • Peach and plum trees should be pruned to stimulate lateral branches and keep their “bowl” shape.  Thin out branches to open the center to allow more sunlight, resulting in fruit production over the entire tree.
  • Apply blood meal or slow-release fertilizer to pansies and other cool-season annuals.
  • Maintain free-form crape myrtles by removing “sprouts” growing from the base, but never cut the tops out.  It produces unsightly knots and delays blooming.  Removing spent seed pods is OK.


  •  Remove by hand, broadleaf weeds such as clover, dandelions, henbit and chickweed in lawns and beds.  If necessary, spray turf with a broadleaf herbicide when temperatures are above 70 degrees.  Be careful when using herbicides to prevent the drift from harming desirable plants.
  • Don’t Guess, Soil Test!  The best way to determine your soil’s fertility needs is to have it tested.  Contact the local AgriLife Extension office at 972-825-5175 for a Soil Sample Information Form, or go to http://soiltesting.tamu.edu.


Extreme Environmental Issues – Since the mid 1990’s, city dwellers have been encouraged to adopt management practices to reduce fertilizer runoff and conserve water. Research has shown that large amounts of phosphorus and nitrates are washed from recently fertilized grass sod, regardless of the type of fertilizer and is contributing to the potential of deficient oxygen levels and algae blooms. As the algae begins to die other organisms consume them using even more oxygen resulting in possible fish kills and “stinky water.” Using a soil test to determine what nutrients are actually needed and only applying them at the right time will help keep these fertilizers out of our water systems. Contact your local AgriLife Extension office for more details on soil testing.


Click here to read the complete E-Garden Newsletter January 2019

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