It’s Time to Fertilize Citrus
Here in Austin, the prolonged cold usually comes to an end around Valentine’s Day and the warmer air triggers many plants to come out of dormancy. We’ve already noticed plums blooming in the neighborhood and new buds are emerging on just about everything in the Earth-Kind® Demonstration Garden. Joe, our Master Gardener citrus expert, says that now is the time to fertilize citrus plants. There are two trees in the ground at AgriLife, and both received specially formulated citrus fertilizer as an early Valentine’s Day treat. The fertilizer contains micro-nutrients that are deficient in our alkaline soils. Adding the nutrients now will support the new blooms as the trees come out of dormancy. Joe says the timing is the same for container citrus plants. You can read more on how to care for citrus over at Aggie Horticulture.
Overcrowding = New Divisions
Over in the rose bed, area leader Manda is digging out overgrown salvias and the pink Turk’s Cap, Malvaviscus x ‘Pam Puryear’s Pink’. All have done well next to the roses but have outgrown the space. The ‘Pam Puryear’s Pink’ was developed by Texas plantsman Greg Grant and was named after his friend and the ‘Rose Rustler’ founder Pam Puryear. Manda had no trouble finding help to dig out the plants among fellow volunteers who were eager to take home the new divisions.
A Happy Mix-Up in the Herb Garden
Many of us have come home with the wrong plant from a retail nursery. Herb garden leader Pat went to a local nursery to pick up some cilantro starts. A helpful employee handed her a plant and, at a glance, Pat saw that the tag started with a “c”. It wasn’t until later that she discovered that the “c” was for celery, not cilantro.
Celery is not a crop usually grown successfully in Central Texas because of heat and lack of water. Some nurseries sell water celery, Oenanthe javanica, as a pond plant, but it’s a completely separate family than garden celery, Apium graveolens. Pat planted the celery on the herb garden edge closest to the street, giving the plant a little micro climate protection from the recent cold. The plant is thriving there and now has a few stalks ready to harvest. She will leave it there to see how long it holds up once warmer weather arrives.
Peas Ready for Trellis
David, the vegetable area garden leader, built a trellis for the peas. He uses bamboo stakes wired to metal fence posts, then attaches netting made from gardening twine. The structure is rigid enough to hold the weight and withstand the constant wind that uses Highway 183 as a conduit. Master Gardener Charles helped finish the project. David planted two types of peas; an edible pod variety and, for fun, a sweet pea. The sweet pea is a vigorous grower and will scramble up the trellis in no time. The edible pea is more of a bush type but will utilize the trellis as it grows. The edible pea is already setting pods that are ready for stir-fry or salads.