Carnation, ‘the flower of the gods’

January in the Garden

BY Lori Murray

January’s flower is the carnation. It has been referred to as “the flower of the gods“ or “the flower of love.“

POINSETTIAS:

If you have moved your Christmas poinsettias outdoors, keep them in strong indirect sunlight and water when the surface is dry. Experts also recommend fertilizing weekly with half strength houseplant fertilizer. (Last year I just set my pots outdoors and watered when I watered everything else. I placed them where they got a little direct light in the mornings so they could transition to the outdoors and later to summer weather. Just keep an eye on them and give them shade if they need it. I didn’t fertilize either, but I did use rich soil when I repotted them in May.)

PLANT:

Flowers: ageratum, alyssum, amaryllis bulbs, begonias, calla lilies, dianthus, gerbera daisies, kalanchoes, marigolds, roses, snapdragons, stocks

Vegetables: leaf lettuce, potatoes, radishes

Herbs really like the cooler weather our winter provides. Plant basil, dill, fennel, mint, rosemary, rue, thyme, etc. If you plant in pots, you can bring them inside in case of frost, but generally herbs thrive in our winter. Trees and shrubs can be planted while they are dormant and will be ready to expand their roots systems in spring.

PRUNE Esperanza deeply this month to make a bushier plant later this year.

HARVEST

Leafy greens, root crops, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines. (After the main broccoli crown is harvested, the plant will continue to produce small florets that you can harvest until warm weather.)

WATER

If there is no rain this month, be sure to water at least once. If there is a frost or freeze warning, check to be certain the ground is not dry. It’s best to soak your lawn, landscape plants, vegetable gardens, and fruit trees if cold weather is predicted.

REVIEW

Review plant information in catalogs and gardening magazines. Decide now where you want to plant things. If you need to order seeds or plants, get your order in early before companies get busy.

SOURCES

• Successful Gardening in the Magic Valley of Texas, Dist. VI Texas Garden Clubs, Inc.

• Native Trees and Native Shrubs of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Native Plant Project, P.O.Box 1433, Edinburg, Texas

• Texas Garden Almanac, Doug Welsh

www.birdsandblooms/Gardening

www.aggiehorticulture.tamu.edu

www.thegardenhelper.com