Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
It’s January and the first of the gardening crops should to be planted soon. It’s time to plant onions and asparagus. Log on to the Permian Basin Master Gardener website for the recommended plants for our area. (westtexasgardening.org )
If you have grape vines, it’s time to prune and start training the vines. A common mistake made is not pruning hard enough. Heavy pruning gives the best quality grapes and promotes fruiting. You want to cut off as much of the old wood as possible. This will encourage the growth of new wood, which is where the fruit is produced.
The seed racks should be out soon in stores so decide what you will need and stock up. Go ahead and buy the seeds you will need in the fall as well. Some of the local big box stores no longer have seeds after May 15 so you need to plan ahead. Seeds can successfully be stored indoors in a dark, cool place. I use shoe boxes in an upper cabinet in my utility room.
Mulch, mulch, mulch for Spring. March 15 is about when our weeds begin to germinate and you want to stop the light from reaching those seeds. Four to six inches of mulch is recommended. Remember you will need to add more during the year as decomposition begins. Both the City of Midland and the City of Odessa have free mulch if you want to take advantage of that.
If you are starting new spaces you can begin to mark and layout the beds. On warm days you can begin digging and getting those beds ready for planting by adding compost.
Drive around and look for yards that have winter plants you like. There are plants that have beautiful color and greenery in winter and you may want to consider them for adding color in your yard for enjoyment next winter. Ornamental grasses are beautiful this time of year and the picture with this article is a good example of that.
Keep watering your lawn and evergreens. In the case of Bermuda grass, the part of the grass you see is dormant but the roots continue to grow and need water, although less often than in the spring and summer.
If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information. Additional information available at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu and westtexasgardening.org.