Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

Garden Checklist for November-December, 2003

by Dr. William C. Welch, Landscape Horticulturist,
Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University

Fall brings gourds and pumpkins to the Farmers Market

  • Gourds on display for fall decorations will last longer if they are carefully cleaned, waxed and kept in a dry place. Inspect occasionally for signs of mould.

  • Prolong the life of holiday-season gift plants by providing proper care. Check to see if the pot wrap has plugged up the bottom drainage. Don't over-water. Keep out of drafts from heating vents and open doorways. Fertilizer is seldom needed the first few months.

  • Berrying plants, such as holly and yaupon, may be pruned now while they can be enjoyed as cut material inside the house.

  • Place orders for seeds this month so you will have them available when you are ready to plant. By ordering early, you will be more certain of getting the varieties you want.

  • Don't get in a hurry to prune woody plants. Late December through February is usually the best time to prune them.

  • Drain gasoline from power tools and run the engine until fuel in the carburetor is used up.

  • Drain and store garden hoses and watering equipment in a readily accessible location. The lawn and plants may need water during a prolonged dry spell.

  • November through February is a good time to plant trees and shrubs. In the Panhandle, planting is often delayed until February or early March.

  • Continue to set out cool-season bedding plants, such as pansies, violas, stock, snapdragons, and dianthus.

  • Prepare beds and individual holes for rose planting in January and February. Use composted manure, pine bark, and similar materials mixed with existing soil.

  • Plant those spring-flowering bulbs if you haven't already done so.

  • Want to start cuttings of your favorite Christmas cactus? As soon as it has finished blooming, select a cutting with 4 or 5 joints, break or cut it off, and insert the basal end into a pot of moderately moist soil. Place it on a windowsill or other brightly lit area. The cuttings should be rooted within 3 to 4 weeks.

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