First, let me say that what you’re about to read is my opinion and my opinion alone. So, if you’re waiting for the appearance of wooly worms as a sign that winter is over, you should probably just ignore this message.
But if you’re like me – a geek about weather who does research - the signs are obvious. It appears there is no freezing weather coming this way through Feb. 5, which is about as far out as we can see right now. (By the way, I’ve never trusted the Farmer’s Almanac because, in my opinion, it’s like horoscope readings – you’ll see what you want to see in their projections.)
So, it’s time to get busy!
I am green-lighting everything we were on the fence about a couple of weeks ago. Last week, I offered up some adjustments to the pre-emergent herbicide part of The Schedule. This week, I say move up the early green-up. And let’s get after rose and crape myrtle pruning. In fact, it’s time to do ALL (and I do mean ALL) your fruit tree pruning. Simply put, if there’s something you normally wait to do until well into February, I give you permission to get it done starting today.
Call the radio show this weekend if there’s something you’re still hesitant about.
Now, this is not just a knee-jerk reaction to the warmer-than-normal January. I’ve talked with two professional meteorologists I trust, and both have noted that the polar vortex is very strong this year. That means it won’t be drifting southward, bringing ninja freezes like those we’ve endured in the past. They also had some observations on El Nino. When it’s strong, we have harmless winters along the Gulf Coast. This year, El Nino is neither strong nor weak … the weather guys say it’s kind of right down the middle, so we are having a wetter-than-normal January.
Now, you can disagree with me all you want, and you don’t have to do a darn thing until you feel like it. But even if we do get a slight freeze for a brief moment, don’t worry. Of course, you should protect anything that is setting new leaves for the next 30 days, but that new growth isn’t going to pull in cold the way it would with temperatures in the 20s. Who’s with me?!
Sugar Land Home & Outdoor Living Show
For help with all the things you’re going to get busy with, or for answers to questions you have about moving forward, come see me at the Sugar Land Home & Outdoor Living Show, Saturday and Sunday at the Stafford Centre, Murphy Road at Cash Road. Hit me with your questions either 10:30-11:15 a.m. at the big seminar stage, or at the broadcast table 11:15 a.m.-3 p.m. I’ll also be unveiling my new book, New Decade Gardening; A Gulf Coast Guide.
We broadcast live from the show on Saturday, then do the seminar, then I’ll sign books until I pass out around 3. Or until Michael Garfield, the High-Stressed Texan – oops, I mean High-Tech Texan - makes me leave for dinner with my adopted parents (his parents). On Sunday, I will be there as soon as I get off the air and can shoot from the KTRH studios to Murphy Road.
This will be the first time my new book will be for sale anywhere. As with every other book I have self-published, it’s $15 a copy. But, if you buy two or more, I will make it worth your while. I know that you know someone who would benefit from this guide to everything related to Gulf Coast gardening. So, if you buy two, you’ll get ‘em plus a free gardening product for just $25. That could be fertilizer, soil activator or organic insecticide. The products’ average cost is about $15, too. So, for $25 you get, roughly, a $40-$50 value.
This show is the only place you can buy the book until at least Jan. 27, when retail distribution kicks into high gear. But I’ll be making many more appearances with the book this spring, including at two more home and garden shows, where you can get a copy. And look for it at retail garden centers, feed stores and hardware stores in the region around the end of the month.