December 27 2008 Timely Tips




December 27, 2008

Start the New Year out right in 2009 by simply planting a tree. Many of the good independent nurseries have a great selection of Extension recommended trees to choose from. With our mild winter weather it is an excellent time to plant dormant trees because their tops are not actively growing and their root systems have a jump on spring.

Start planning and ordering fresh vegetable seed for the spring home garden. Visit for Extension recommended vegetable varieties as well as specialty mail-order resources.

Apply a thin layer of enriched manure compost to any unutilized areas this winter in the home vegetable garden, especially if you didn’t plant a “Green Manure” crop like Elbon (cereal) rye earlier. The compost will minimize weed problems and erosion as well as retain moisture in the soil for spring planting.

Increase the winter home vegetable garden with a second planting of onion transplants like the newest White Contessa and the traditional Texas Super Sweet 1015Y. The first planting of onions should gradually be thinned to one plant every four to six inches apart. This spacing in conjunction of fertilizer use and watering will increase the size of the bulbs for May and June harvesting. All onions that are thinned can be used as green scallion onions.

Adjust automatic sprinkler systems for less frequent lawn and landscape winter watering. Make every drop of water count, so we will have an adequate supply for spring plantings.

David Rodriguez is the County Extension Agent-Horticulture with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County. For more information, call the Master Gardener “Hotline” (210) 467-6575 or visit our County Extension website at

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