MASTER GARDENER — Anticipating Spring? Try winter garden cleanup. - Port Arthur News

MASTER GARDENER — Anticipating Spring? Attempt winter backyard cleanup. – Port Arthur Information

MASTER GARDENER — Anticipating Spring? Attempt winter backyard cleanup.

Revealed 12:02 am Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Gardeners, one other chilly snap has rapidly come and gone, thankfully for us! How fortunate we’re to reside in an space that doesn’t stay severely chilly for weeks or months at a time.

The few days of frigid temperatures we obtain is greater than sufficient for this gardener and makes me lengthy for springs’ arrival.

Lots of you (like me) buy seeds from quite a few seed catalogues you’ve been “leafing” by the previous couple of months, or maybe harvested seeds from lasts years flowers and greens (as I did) and begun the method of germinating seeds in trays full of seed beginning combine, positioned on warming matts to assist in germination.

And simply as a considerate reminder, it’s time to germinate tomato and pepper seeds now to allow them to be prepared for transplanting into your gardens by mid to late March.

The anticipated final frost date for our space, in line with the Farmer’s Almanac is March sixteenth (give or take every week), simply bear in mind to maintain frost safety obtainable for delicate crops, particularly tomatoes and peppers which have a tricky time rebounding from temperatures beneath 40 levels F.

The native climate sample this week will heat significantly, into the 80’s and even increased in some areas.

A number of spring-like issues are most actually going to happen within the upcoming week’s: timber will start setting buds to flower and kind leaves, lawns are breaking dormancy and can slowly turn out to be inexperienced and the mosquito inhabitants of Southeast Texas will explode, rising exponentially!

Many people can be working open air over the subsequent few weeks cleansing up, raking the yard, or just eradicating the mess attributable to chilly climate. It’s nonetheless a bit too quickly to be eradicating broken limbs or slicing shrubs and perennials crops again.

Spring can be upon us earlier than you realize it and I wish to get a head begin with subjects of dialogue! Considered one of my private favourite gardening duties is tree and shrub pruning which I carry out yearly. Annually, I even have gardeners request me to evaluation the right way to prune Crape Myrtles specifically.

A Crape Myrtle is a small, multi-trunked tree (or giant shrub) which sadly, approach too many gardeners adhere to the follow of crepe myrtle butchery. It’s extra generally generally known as crepe myrtle “homicide”, and earlier than spring arrives annually, I write an article to deal with the unlucky bloodbath.

Drive round any neighborhood and also you most actually will discover “butchered” Crepe Myrtle timber. The picture makes use of an auto’s ignition key positioned into the tree’s trunk to spotlight harm. This tree has been repeatedly “cropped” over a few years with black fungus rising across the gnarled knots, setting the stage for illness development and most positively an early demise. (North Carolina Cooperative extension).

The phrase “crepe myrtle homicide” was coined in 1997 Southern Dwelling Journal article, referring to late fall and winter follow of severely slicing crape myrtles all the way down to stubs. Disappointingly, any of us can drive by the Golden Triangle (cities and neighborhoods), witnessing firsthand the results of this horrendous pruning type.

Individuals get up (landscapers & gardeners) severely pruning crepe myrtles are destroying the integrity of the tree and can present it a sluggish loss of life because of illness or structural failure. Structural weak point is attributable to “cropping” the tree with a chainsaw. Crepe myrtles are timber, they usually shouldn’t be compelled into being one thing they can’t turn out to be (additionally one in every of life’s lesson)!

Utilizing a chainsaw to prune crepe myrtles, and eradicating all high development, whereas the quickest pruning method is by far essentially the most harmful and disastrous. The tree will endure excessive harm and more than likely won’t ever totally recuperate!

Butchering crepe myrtles’ trunks or slicing their trunks to the identical top forces the tree to develop from the place the pruning occurred. Using the “cropping” method year-after-year, the tree kinds mangled knots, diminishing its aesthetic, and destroying its inherent magnificence for a few years. Additional, by “cropping” the timber’ trunks and limbs, its life is shortened.

Slender, weak branches will develop from minimize areas, that are unable to assist the load of its’ blooms, that means they are going to break with wind gusts. The knots fashioned grossly detract from what needs to be a big, swish, billowy, vase-shaped tree construction lending a profusion of blooms for the spring and summer time months.

Observe the guidelines beneath to prune Crepe Myrtles:

  • The most effective time to prune is now (Winter).
  • Begin by eradicating shoots from across the base of the tree (referred to as suckers).
  • Take away lifeless and crossed branches (branches that are rubbing towards one another).
  • Take away skewed branches (branches which are incongruous with timber’ vase formed kind).
  • Take away branches rising inward in the direction of the middle (preserve vase-like construction and circulation.
  • By no means depart partial branches, minimize branches again to the trunk.

John Inexperienced is a Licensed Texas Grasp Gardener. When you have gardening questions or want extra data, contact the Orange County Grasp Gardeners Helpline at 409-882-7010 or go to, Orange County Texas Grasp Gardeners Affiliation on Fb or e-mail

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