Cool Season Gardens: What to Plant Now, Pruning Tips, & More!

February is almost here and spring is near! Get your garden ready for a beautiful spring season with fresh plants and a little TLC. February is the time to clean up your trees and shrubs, deter weeds, plant cool season color, and to protect your plants from our Texas weather.

WHAT TO PLANT NOW IN TEXAS

GERANIUMS

geraniums

Geraniums are a popular bedding plant for this time of year. They are bold and dynamic with balls of blooms on top of flowy green leaves. They perform well in flowerbeds and containers and require partial to full sunlight throughout the day.

 

MATRIX® PANSY

matrix pansies

Matrix® Pansies are prized for their vibrant, large blooms and consistent growth throughout the cooler season. Available in a wide variety of colors with blotch and clear faces. Matrix® Pansies will brighten up your flowerbeds or container gardens. They prefer full sunlight to partial shade.

 

CYCLAMEN

cyclamen

Cyclamen contain blooms in festive shades of red, pink, purple, or white. The flowers grow from tall stems to give it a stately appearance and are a delightful addition to your containers or gardens throughout the cooler seasons. They do best in shade areas like patios or porches.

 

SNAPDRAGONS

snapdragons

A classic flower full of color, Snapdragons produce tiny clusters of blooms on tall, sturdy stalks. Snapdragons are a great plant for pollinator-friendly gardens! They do best in full sunlight and are a great choice for mass plantings, borders, or container gardens.

 

HERBS & VEGGIES

parsley

Cool season vegetables and herbs are a fantastic gift for your garden. Most importantly, they provide nourishment to you and your family. Fresh herbs like Parsley, Rosemary, Lavender, Chives, and Mint are a great choice for your cool season garden. They bring a delicious fragrance to your home and are a tasty addition to your culinary creations.

chives

February is also the ideal time to start planting your cool season vegetables like Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Onion Slips.

onion slips

 

FRUIT TREES & BERRIES

citrus trees

Want more edible plants? Try berry shrubs and fruit trees! Growing your own berries and fruit is a tasty step toward a healthier you and a fantastic choice for your cool season gardens.

berry plant tag

Get berry excited and explore our selection of berry plants like Pink Lemonade Blueberries, Prime Ark® Traveler Blackberries, Raspberries, and more. Perfect for patios or porches, berries do well in containers and prefer full sunlight throughout the day.

peach tree tag

Get fruity with fruit trees! Explore our premium varieties of fruit trees like Blue Giant Figs, Peaches, Morris Plums, Fuyu Persimmons, and more! Fruit trees need full sunlight to grow successfully!

 

AZALEAS

azaela

Azaleas are gorgeous shrubs that produce an abundance of blooms. This relatively low maintenance shrub does best in partial sun and requires a highly acidic soil.

 

CAMELLIAS

camellia

Camellia plants are fast growing, low maintenance, and simply beautiful! They can be used as a colorful hedge or even a high-profile groundcover. They do best in partial sunlight and add fun color to any landscape!

At Calloway’s and Cornelius, we have fresh shipments of seasonal color and plants arriving to our stores daily near you. Stop by and explore our beautiful selection or try shopping online here!

 

GARDEN CARE & MAINTENANCE

PRUNING 101

pruning a tree branch

Pruning plants starts with purpose. Reasons to prune your plants can range from shaping your plants, clean up, and creating space for new growth. Proper pruning techniques and learning when to prune is essential. Here are a few tips to help your pruning process. Get ready for some spring tree cleaning!

WHAT TO PRUNE NOW

  • Shade trees like Ash, Elm, Maples, Pecan, and Pistache
  • Summer flowering trees like Crapemyrtle and Vitex
  • Summer flowering shrubs like Abelias, Althea, Butterfly Bush, Hydrangeas, Texas Sage, and Bush Roses
  • Evergreen shrubs to reshape as needed

PRUNING TOOLS

Proper pruning starts with quality tools. Prune like the experts with our selection of hand tools by Corona®.

pruning

The Corona® Max Forged ClassicCUT® Pruners are crafted out of forged steel for the professional gardener and are known for their strength and durability. This hand tool is perfect for removing small branches and new growth.

looper

The Corona® Compound Action Bypass Lopper has compound cutting capabilities that triples your cutting power, cutting up to 1 1/2 in diameter. Made with non-stick coated, high-carbon steel blades that can be re-sharpened. Lightweight and strong with an ergonomic, co-molded grip.

saw tool

The Corona® RazorTOOTH Saw® is extremely fast and efficient. Each blade goes through 4 manufacturing processes for maximum durability, hardness, and friction reduction. This saw is a good choice to remove thick branches or trunks.

HOW TO PRUNE A TREE OR SHRUB

  • Remove any damaged or dying branches
  • Clean up new growth around the trunk
  • Remove twisted branches and water sprouts

Damaged or dying branches use energy that your plant needs to survive. Removing these troubled areas allows your plant to focus on creating new growth.

damanged branches

Cleaning up growth around the trunk can help your plant keep its shape and maintain its health. This also opens up the area for sunlight and water to reach the plant and its roots.

new growth at tree

Twisted branching and water sprouts are important to prune. Twisted branching blocks the sunlight from reaching all parts of the plant.

twisted branches

Water sprouts are growth shoots that are relatively thin and juvenile. They are fast growing and feed on the water and nutrients provided by the established plant. They can waste the energy and divert growth from the main structure. Removing promptly is key to maintaining the tree’s shape and health.

water sprouts

Cleaning up your plants now will help prevent problems later and allow space for new growth and fresh blooms.

Check out our video below for tips on how to prune your trees and shrubs:

PRUNING TIPS TO REMEMBER:

  1. Never top off Crapemyrtles as this will lead to decay or damage to your plant.
  2. Prune one branch at a time.
  3. Proper cuts heal faster – take your time.
  4. Prune with a plan and educate yourself on your plants before getting started.

 

BEAT WEEDS

bonide weed beater complete

Now is the time to start weed control for a beautiful spring lawn! Bonide® Weed Beater Complete kills the weeds in your lawn, including crabgrass and many varieties of broadleaf weeds. It also contains a pre-emergent, preventing new weeds from germinating in your lawn.

 

FROST PROTECTION

protecting plants from frost

Since we live in Texas, we know to expect any types of weather. In February, cold temperatures and freeze warnings can occur from time to time. That’s why is it important to be prepared.

frost protection sheet

DeWitt N-SULATE Frost Protection blanket or Supreme Plant Protection rolls are available at our stores nearest you. This frost protection fabric is an inexpensive, yet fabulous form of protection for your flowerbeds, bedding plants, vegetable gardens, etc. It is made from a re-usable, medium weight fabric available in various size options. The material is formulated to resist UV degradation while allowing air and water to pass through the fabric.

frost protection blanket

Frost Protection blankets and rolls are designed to raise the temperature beneath the fabric about 6-8 degrees to create a warmer and protected environment for your annual color. Also, you can protect your freshly planted trees and evergreens from the dry winds and winter sun. Winter Sunscald can “burn” and dry out the conifer needles and evergreen foliage. Wrap up your trees and secure it with floral wire or rope.

 

APPLY MULCH

mulch

Another fantastic avenue for protecting your plants during the winter season is to apply mulch to your flowerbeds and around your trees and shrubs.

mulch bags

Calloway’s Premium Mulch is made from organic material that enriches the soil as it decomposes. It creates a warm barrier between the cold, frosty air and your plant’s roots. Frozen soil prevents plants from taking up water to replace the moisture that is lost from evaporation. You want to keep the soil for your plants happy with the proper level of moisture to avoid freeze damage and hold in the necessary heat.

mulch in shovel

Mulch also helps deter weeds and retains moisture in the soil.

 

SHOP WITH EASE

At Calloway’s and Cornelius, we have convenient ways to shop for your gardening needs! Shop our open-air stores, shop online, or call our store nearest you and place an order over the phone for Curbside Pickup!

Questions? Call our store nearest you! Our Texas Certified Nursery Professionals are here to help!

Complete your cool season gardens with quality plants and products and let’s get our gardens spring ready!

 

 

 

 

ref: extension.umd.edutravis-tx.tamu.edu