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TREES

  • Prune shade trees, ornamental trees other than spring bloomers, and palms.
  • Best time to plant trees.

LAWNS

  • Mow winter weeds repeatedly.
  • Water no more than once a month.

HERBS

  • Harvest cool-season herbs like cilantro, parsley and dill weekly.

PERENNIALS

  • Leave frozen plants for wildlife food and shelter.
  • Begin planting perennials and shrubs.

ROSES

  • Leave frozen plants for wildlife food and shelter.

ANNUALS

  • Plant bulbs, rhizomes and corms for late spring color.
  • Plant cool-season annuals such as snapdragons, stock, geranium and cyclamen.
  • Water by hand three times a week initially, then no more than once a week.

WATERING

Water once during the month if no significant rain occurs.

WILDLIFE

Resist cutting back perennials to provide winter cover for birds and wildlife.

If feeding birds, keep feeders and wildlife water sources clean.

PLAN & DESIGN

This is a good time to assess your yard and plan your spring activities.

TOOL TIME

January is the time to sharpen blades and oil handles and bearings

After cleaning, disinfect blades with 10% alcohol or Lysol™.

TREES

  • Prune shade trees other than oaks, ornamental trees other than spring bloomers, and palms.
  • Continue to plant trees.

LAWNS

  • Mow winter weeds repeatedly.
  • Apply a pre-emergent such as corn gluten or Amaze mid-month for warm-season weeds.
  • Spot treat with post-emergent herbicide such as orange oil and vinegar mixture or 2,4-D product.
  • Aerate lawns with a core aerator and apply ¼ to ½ inch of screened compost over the aerated area.

HERBS

  • Pinch back cool season herbs like cilantro, parsley, and dill weekly, or daily for your culinary creations. Dill is also a favorite of the Black Swallowtail caterpillar, be sure and share.

PERENNIALS

  • Leave frozen plants for wildlife food and shelter until last week in the month.
  • Prune back perennials to three inches above ground.
  • Begin planting perennials and shrubs.

ROSES

  • Prune rose branches back 1/3 from the tips to a bud and all dead, diseased and dying branches.
  • Apply a small amount of slow-release fertilizer at the outer edge of the canopy.

ANNUALS

  • Continue weekly watering in the absence of significant rain.

WATERING

No watering this month.

If you have an irrigation system, check it for leaks as it should have been off for several months.

WILDLIFE

Cut back perennials after Valentine’s Day.

If feeding birds, keep feeders and water clean.

PLAN & DESIGN

This is a good time to cozy up with our Find a Plant section and determine which plants will work best in your garden.

TOOL TIME

Clean pruning tools with a mixture of 5% bleach and oil.

TREES

  • Continue to plant trees.
  • DO NOT wantonly butcher crape myrtles.
  • Prune citrus.

LAWNS

  • DO NOT apply weed-and-feed fertilizers or any fertilizer of any kind. Warm-season grass species are dormant.
  • Continue to mow winter weeds repeatedly.
  • Aerate lawns with a core aerator and apply ¼ to ½ inch of screened compost over the aerated area.

HERBS

  • Cool season herbs ( cilantro, dill, parsley) may be waning, but you can leave them up until they fully seed for small songbirds. Warm-season herbs ( basil, thyme, sage) should be taking off. You’ll need to water basil the most.

ROSES

  • Prune any remaining roses that were not pruned in February. Prune rose branches back 1/3  from the tips to a bud.
  • Spray leaves and stem with a fungicide (Plant Wash™, garlic solution, neem oil or daconil) to prevent fungi if needed.
  • Apply a small amount (1/2 cup) of slow-release fertilizer at the outer edge of the canopy.

PERENNIALS

  • Prune back any remaining unpruned perennials to three inches above the ground.

ANNUALS

  • Continue weekly watering in the absence of significant rain.

WATERING

Check your irrigation schedule and our section on common mistakes. Some plants, especially newly planted ones, may need watering. Hand watering is always best.

WILDLIFE

Keep those feeders and water sources clean; avoid pesticides.

PLAN & DESIGN

Plant perennials and warm-season herbs like basil. Make triple sure the plant’s sun requirements match what you have.

TOOL TIME

An ergonomic hand shovel, a garden stool or kneeling pad are your friends.

TREES

  • Plant trees.
  • Use Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) on caterpillars if tree canopy is covered more than 50% by army or webworms (caterpillars). Or take a stick and break up the webs, providing a good food source for songbirds feeding their hungry young.

LAWNS

  • Warm-season grass species have finally begun to arise from dormancy. Mow twice, then apply a slow-release fertilizer after April 15 with a ratio of 3-1-2 (example: 19-5-9 is common one) at 1 lb. of Nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn. Don’t fertilize if rain is in the forecast. Or aerate and top dress with ¼” compost.
  • Begin to water weekly if necessary. Follow the SAWS weekly watering advice.
  • Begin mowing weekly.
  • Lots of work, right? Consider starting the grass removal process and converting your yard to a more sustainable option.

HERBS

  • You should be harvesting your warm-season herbs like basil. Pinch the top leaves at the next leaf junction. Basil will probably start needing a daily shot of hand watering. Cool-season herbs are done by now and you can pull them up.

ROSES

  • Apply one (1) inch of compost and mulch at the base to the outer canopy.

PERENNIALS

  • Apply one (1) inch of compost and mulch throughout the beds.

ANNUALS

  • Remove cool-season annuals and replace with warm-season selections such as purslane, portulaca and impatiens.
  • Water by hand three times a week initially, then no more than once a week.

WATERING

Hand water at the base of the plant. If you have an irrigation system, water no more than once a week. Pick your watering day so you’re ready to go in case drought is declared.

WILDLIFE

If you have flowers to attract butterflies and bees, water at the base of the plant. If you water the flowers, it will wash away the nectar for several hours. Another reason to not have spray irrigation in beds.

PLAN & DESIGN

If you are planting new flowers, try planting in threes for a pleasing look. And think about the bloom time and color palette.

TOOL TIME

A stirrup hoe is a really great tool to have now, especially for new beds that will have weeds.

TREES

  • Reduce planting of trees. Begin planting of palms and succulents.
  • Prune spring-flowering ornamental trees such as redbud, Texas mountain laurel and Mexican plum.
  • Apply one (1) inch of compost and mulch beneath the canopy or beyond.

LAWN

  • Begin planting of warm-season grass in functional areas. Resist using it as a default groundcover.
  • Apply beneficial nematodes for grubs and chinch bugs.
  • Continue weekly mowing.
  • Continue mowing weeds repeatedly.
  • Lawns can be a lot of work so use for specific functions only.

HERBS

  • Cool-season herbs are fading. Remove and collect seeds (cilantro seeds are the same as coriander seeds) or wait till they drop the seeds and cilantro will reseed for next year. Plant warm-season herbs like basil, oregano and sage.

ROSES

  • Apply one (1) inch of compost and mulch around the plant or throughout the beds.

PERENNIALS

  • Apply one (1) inch of compost and mulch around the plant or throughout the beds.

ANNUALS

  • Water newly planted annuals by hand three times a week initially, then no more than once a week.

WATERING

If you have irrigation and haven’t looked at it in a while, review the Irrigation Mistakes section.

WILDLIFE

Butterflies and bees along with song birds should be active. Avoid pesticides.

If feeding birds, keep feeders and wildlife water clean.

PLAN & DESIGN

You can still plant. Consider choosing your fall-blooming plants.

TOOL TIME

For weeding in those new summer beds:

Stirrup Hoe: Great for larger beds as you can stand up instead of having to bend over.

Weeder: You’ll need a hand tool to dig out deep-rooted weeds.

TREES

  • Water once a month if no significant rainfall has occurred. Water at the edge or the tree canopy where the sun and the shade meet – not on the tree trunk.

LAWN

  • If you have St. Augustine grass, you may have to fertilize lightly with a chelated iron product.
  • Continue mowing.
  • Mow summer weeds repeatedly.
  • Continue to follow weekly watering advice.

HERBS

  • Continue pinching warm-season herbs for your culinary adventures. You can do this daily. Remember for leafier herbs like basil and sage, pinch the new growth to the top on the next leaf section. Woody herbs like French thyme (the best for our area) or rosemary can be cut back at any point.

ROSES

  • Hand water at the base. Avoid water on leaves.

PERENNIALS

  • Prune off (deadhead) the spent flowers.

ANNUALS

  • Continue to hand water once a week.

WATERING

Follow our weekly watering advice – get it by signing up for the newsletter. Make sure you are in compliance with current watering rules.

WILDLIFE

Provide water for wildlife and keep it clean. Stay clear of pesticides.

PLAN & DESIGN

This is a good time to assess your yard and plan your fall activities.

TOOL TIME

Herb Pruning Snips;

These are mini hand pruners that make harvesting your herbs feel special. Kitchen scissors will work just as well.

TREES

  • Water once a month if no significant rainfall has occurred.
  • Oaks may be pruned again.

LAWN

  • Continue weekly mowing.
  • Continue mowing weeds repeatedly.
  • Continue to follow the weekly watering advice.

HERBS

  • Continue pinching warm-season herbs for your culinary adventures.

ROSES

  • Prune ¼ from the tip to a bud and remove any dead flowers.
  • Water every other week if no significant rainfall has occurred.

PERENNIALS

  • Prune (deadhead) spent flowers.
  • Water every other week if no significant rainfall has occurred.

ANNUALS

  • Continue to hand water weekly.

WATERING

Hand watering first year plants is the way to go. Continue to watch your irrigation system – it can use over 2,000 gallons each time you run it.

WILDLIFE

Check your plant mix to see if you have enough flowering plants for pollinators. If not, consider including some in your landscape.

PLAN & DESIGN

You can cut back your small perennials by 1/3 to encourage an early fall flush.

TOOL TIME

If you didn’t do it last month, sharpen lawn mower blades and hedge shears.

TREES

  • Oaks may be pruned again.

LAWNS

  • Continue to mow weekly. Sigh, it’s hot. Ready to get rid of it yet?

HERBS

  • Continue your daily spritz of basil. If seed heads are forming, pinch them off to extend the life of the basil.

ROSES

  • Prune off (deadhead) spent flowers.

PERENNIALS

  • Prune off (deadhead) spent flowers.

 ANNUALS

  • Continue to hand water weekly.

WATERING

Hand watering first-year plants is the way to go. Continue to watch your irrigation system – it can use over 2,000 gallons each time you run it.

WILDLIFE

Check your plant mix to see if you have enough flowering plants for pollinators. If not, consider including some in your landscape.

PLAN & DESIGN

Assess your yard and plan your fall activities. If your plan includes removing turf, stop watering and cover up with cardboard, newspaper and mulch or black tarp to kill.

TOOL TIME

Clean pruning tools with a mixture of 5% bleach and oil after oak pruning and spray all cuts immediately with spray paint in the color of your choice.

TREES

  • Oak trees may be pruned.
  • Apply one (1) inch of compost and mulch under the canopy or beyond.
  • Water once a month if no significant rainfall has occurred.

LAWNS

  • Continue with weekly mowing.
  • Continue to follow the weekly watering advice.
  • Apply a pre-emergent such as corn gluten, Dimension, or Barricade mid-month for cool-season weeds.

HERBS

  • Continue your daily spritz of basil. If seed heads are forming, pinch them off to extend the life of the basil.

ROSES

  • Apply one (1) inch of compost and mulch around the plant or throughout the beds.
  • Prune off (deadhead) spent flowers.

PERENNIALS

  • Apply one (1) inch of compost and mulch around the plant or throughout the beds.
  • Prune off (deadhead) spent flowers.

ANNUALS

  • Continue to hand water weekly.

WATERING

If you choose to use winter annuals, target water by hand-held hose generally no more than weekly in the absence of rain.

WILDLIFE

Resist cutting back perennials to provide winter cover for birds and wildlife.

If feeding birds, keep feeders clean.

PLAN & DESIGN

This is a good time to assess your yard and plan your spring activities.

TOOL TIME

Clean pruning tools with a mixture of 5% bleach and oil.

TREES

  • Water once a month if no significant rainfall has occurred. Water at the sun/shade border, not on the tree’s trunk.

LAWNS

  • Apply ¼ to ½ inch of compost or 1 lb Nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn. Do not apply if it is going to rain as nitrogen, a major water pollutant, may filter into our streams and rivers.
  • Final mowing until January is last week in October.

HERBS

  • In most years, warm-season herbs are dying. Remove and replace with cool-season herbs like cilantro, parsley and dill.

 ROSES

  • Spray leaves and stem with a fungicide (Plant Wash™, garlic solution, neem oil, or daconil) to prevent fungi in wet years.
  • Apply a small amount (1/2 cup) of slow-release fertilizer at the outer edge of the canopy, but not during rainy times.

PERENNIALS

  • Enjoy your showy fall perennials.

ANNUALS

  • Continue to hand water weekly.
  • Plant reseeding annuals like Texas wildflowers starting now. Just make sure seeds have contact with bare soil and lightly water in.

WATERING

As the days get shorter, there isn’t a need for weekly watering. One final watering at the end of the month may be the last one for the year.

WILDLIFE

Many migratory wildlife are passing through, including birds and butterflies. Nectar, berries and seeds are important food sources. Leave your warm season herbs that have gone to seed up for additional wildlife treats. If you’re worried about what your neighbors think, a cute garden sign saying you’re providing food for wildlife often helps.

PLAN & DESIGN

Fall is a great time in South Texas gardens. If you don’t have enough fall bloomers, consider including them for next year.

TREES

  • Planting season for trees, shrubs and perennials begins.
  • Shred leaves repeatedly or compost them.

LAWNS

  • If you did not aerate in the spring, then aerate lawns with a core aerator and apply ¼ to ½ inch of screened compost over the aerated area.

HERBS

  • Cool-season herbs like cilantro and parsley are doing well now, as is evergreen rosemary and thyme. Harvest and add some zing to your holiday feasts.

ROSES

  • If you want to divide or move your roses, do it now. You’ll want to prune harder than usual and do not let the roots dry. If you are not planting right away, put in a pot till you are ready.

PERENNIALS

  • Planting season begins. Check out that area of grass you killed in August and plant away.

ANNUALS

  • Plant cool-season annuals such as snapdragons, stock, geranium, and cyclamen.
  • Water by hand three times a week initially, then no more than once a week.

WATERING

Turn off irrigation if you haven’t already – if you have thirsty annuals, hand water.

WILDLIFE

Resist cutting back perennials to provide winter cover for birds and wildlife.

Keep all bird feeders and wildlife water clean.

PLAN & DESIGN

Fully explore our website and start your planning for next year

TOOL TIME

If you haven’t already, winterize your gas mower and any other gas tools you may have.

TREES

  • Plant trees, shrubs and perennials.
  • Pruning season begins for all shade trees, including oaks, summer-blooming ornamental trees and shrubs.

LAWNS

  • Warm-season turfgrasses, the kind we have in San Antonio, have stopped growing due to shorter days and cooler temperatures. They will not grow no matter how much you water. If you are watering now, you are watering winter weeds. They’ll love you for it. You may not love your sewer bill next year though. It’s time to stop watering.

HERBS

  • Cool-season herbs continue to flourish. Continue your culinary adventures.

ROSES

  • Some roses may be blooming if the winter has been mild. Otherwise, you can do some pruning for next year.

PERENNIALS

  • If we have had a hard freeze, many of your perennials may be little more than a collection of sticks. Resist cutting them back. If anybody asks, you are providing overwintering and migrating bird habitat because you are.

ANNUAL

  • If you have them, you’re still watering them. Maybe consider replacing with perennials next spring.

WATERING

Stop watering if you haven’t already.

WILDLIFE

Resist cutting back perennials as they provide winter cover for birds and wildlife. Put a cute sign in your yard saying you’re providing food for wildlife if you’re worried what the neighbors will think.

Keep any bird feeders and wildlife water clean.

PLAN & DESIGN

Assess your yard. If it is mostly bare, consider including evergreen backbone plants. These provide year around interest to your yard as well as winter cover for wildlife. Plan your spring activities.

Have any questions?

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