Gardening Tips
Timely Tips for Gardeners from Calloway’s and Cornelius
With the Holiday decorations all packed away revive those empty indoor spaces in your home with living breathing houseplants! Researchers for NASA while developing technology that would allow humans to live in a closed environment on the moon or Mars, discovered that houseplants are the quickest and most effective filters of common dangerous air pollutants. One medium-sized houseplant is needed every 100 square feet of living area to achieve this natural filtering of the air in your home. With the great variety of houseplants you can dress up a room and make the air better too. Keep the leaves clear of dust since most pollutants are absorbed by the leaves.
It may be chilly outside at this time of the year, but winter is a perfect time for a number of outdoor chores. Just consider how much better outdoor chores like soil preparation, planting, transplanting and pruning can be done without toiling in hot summer temperatures.
If you need to move a plant to a different spot in the landscape, this is the month to accomplish this job. Most plants move best when they are fully dormant as a result of prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Remove some of the top growth to compensate for the inevitable loss of some of the roots. Once the plant is moved, water thoroughly, apply root stimulator, and a few inches of mulch over the root area.
January is a great month to accomplish pruning of fruit trees. Annual pruning keeps the harvest within reach, thins crowded branches, allowing more light to penetrate developing fruit and stimulates new growth for next year’s crop. Shade trees can also be pruned at this time.
Fruit trees and vines can be planted at this time as the ground usually does not freeze here in north Texas. You can also prepare the soil for new flower, rose or shrub beds by mixing plenty of organic material like compost and Calloway’s Organic Flower Bed Mix or Tree and Shrub Mix. This way the soil is ready for 
immediate planting when temperatures get a little warmer.
Fertilize pansies to keep them actively growing. Houseplants can be fertilized with reduced rates of water-
soluble fertilizer this month. Do not over-water your houseplants.
Birds of all kinds appreciate a constant source of seed, suet and water during the winter and you will enjoy 
the activity they create in your backyard. Just remember once you start feeding, you should keep it up 
through the winter.
February may be the toughest gardening month. Thank goodness it’s short. In North Texas we do not know what kind of weather to expect from day to day or from day to night. Keep in mind that the average last freeze for North Texas area is not until mid-March. Even so, many plants normally begin to show signs of growth in February, which makes it the perfect time, to get outside and work in the yard.
This is the perfect time to get your garden tools in good working order. So that when Spring arrives you are ready to plant those plants, mow the grass and prepare all those beds in preparation for a beautiful landscape.
Pruning is both an art and a necessary maintenance function. Most trees and shrubs can be lightly pruned at any time; however mid-winter is generally the best time for major pruning.
Summer flowering trees and shrubs should be pruned before buds begin to swell for Spring, generally they bloom on new growth; examples are crape myrtle, butterfly bush, spiraea and honeysuckle. If those seed heads on crepe myrtles bother you, remove them this month. Just clip back the ends of the branches, do not destroy the beauty of the gracefully sculptured trunks by severe pruning. Please never top a crape myrtle. Spring flowering plants such as azalea, Carolina jessamine, wisteria, forsythia, and quince should not be pruned until after the blooms are spent.
February is the best time for pruning most roses. Remove any old and diseased canes then cut the remaining canes back by 50%. Make your cuts above a bud that faces away from the center of the plant.
Early to mid-February marks the time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide for lawns. These products kill germinating seed. A second application may be needed in late May or early June. Remember that the best defense against lawn weeds is a healthy, thick turf resulting from good management.
Trim back perennials and ornamental grasses before the new growth appears in Spring. Clean up around plants and mulch well to protect.
This is a great time to visit your Calloway’s/Cornelius Nursery. New plants are arriving now for late winter and early spring planting. By planting early, plants will be off to a better start and can become adjusted before the stresses of summer arrive.
While at your Calloway’s/Cornelius Nursery treat your special Valentine with beautiful, fresh, living flowers! The rose can be enjoyed all year; cool season flowers such as pansies, primrose and cyclamen can add a burst of color to your landscape, patio or garden. That special person would love a container filled with exotic blooms and foliage comprising orchids, bromeliads, cyclamens and more.
Create Instant Color!
Container gardens are fun and easy to create.  They can be as simple as three small flowers potted together or as elaborate as a small tree or shrub planted in the center of pot with annual color planted around. Follow these simple steps when planting or plan on attending one of our FREE Container Garden Clinics in March.
First select a container appropriately sized for the job.  Make sure it has drainage holes and is large enough for making an impact.  Second, choose a well blended potting soil that drains well.    Thirdly, choose plants that require the same lighting and water needs.  The fourth step is to start planting.  Fill the container half way with soil, position the plants and start filling in with the rest of the potting soil.  You can also add a fertilizer such as Calloway’s Professional Flower Food into the soil.  Lastly, I add a top dressing of decorative bark or mulch.  This adds the finishing touch, plus it will keep the soil cooler and prevent it from drying out as quickly.
After you have completed your masterpiece, sit back and watch it grow!  Now you are ready to start planning your next one!  Enjoy!
April means “to open” or “opening”, in allusion to it being the season when trees and flowers begin to "open". This is the month of rebirth and hope for the future. April means Spring so; get out your gardening tools and get moving. Calloway’s and Cornelius Nursery are fully stocked with all kinds of plants and products for every purpose for today’s gardeners. Consider adding Native Plants such as Texas Sage, Red Yucca, and Mexican Heather to your landscape. Native plants are perfect for our Texas Summer heat better than most, require less water, require less mowing, provide habitats for birds, butterflies and other wildlife, protect the soil, and save on fertilizes and insecticides.
A successful garden begins with good soil. Organic material is important to the soil composition. It helps with drainage and increases the microbe population. Expanded shale is used to break up hard compacted clay soils. Top dress your flowerbeds and containers with organic mulches.
Hopefully you have your tomatoes, peppers, squash, and other warm season vegetables already planted; if not get them in the ground right away. To get the highest yields, make additions of fertilizer (called side dressing) every couple of weeks, starting about a month after transplanting or seeding. If your yard is too small for a traditional garden plot, try gardening in containers. The bigger the container, the better!
If you want to create a truly dynamic garden, inviting colorful guests like butterflies and hummingbirds is definitely the way to go. Butterflies like sunshine and plenty of space to fly around, so opt for a sunny, open spot. Both enjoy having some type of cover as a resting spot. Your garden can even include a water feature for butterflies and hummingbirds to play in.
St. Augustine and Bermuda lawns should be actively growing now; so it is a great time to apply fertilizer. Please consult one of our Texas Certified Nursery Professionals for the best advice for your lawn. A correctly fertilized lawn now will better help your lawn to handle the Texas Summer heat!
May is the month that makes us think of beautiful flowers. Visits to Calloway’s / Cornelius Nursery, the Dallas Arboretum, and the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens will stimulate lots of new ideas and possibilities for your landscape.
Don’t forget Mom this month! Mother’s Day is May 10th. In a recent survey more than 30% of Moms of all ages want something garden related for her Mother’ Day gift. Instead of the usual vase of cut flowers, plan ahead and give that special person a naturally-inspired bouquet that changes with seasons, a beautiful container garden.
Although pansies may still be looking great early in May, it’s about time to pull them and plant summer flowering plants. Once it gets hot, pansies go down fast. Annuals and perennials give you lots of color bang for your buck. Pinch back growth of newly planted annual and perennial plants. This results in shorter, compact plants with more flowers.
Allow the foliage of daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs to mature and yellow before removing.
Spread a second application of pre-emergent for crabgrass and grass. Fertilize lawns with the final feeding before Summer. Fertilize roses every four to six weeks and control black spot with a systemic fungicide. Feed trees and shrubs with Calloway’s 16-8-8 Tree and Shrub Food.
Summer is upon us and your garden may be feeling the affects of the heat. Mulch can help your garden plants weather the summer heat and still thrive.
Reduce Water Use
Mulch provides several healthy benefits to Texas gardens in the summertime. One of the most well-known benefits of mulch is to reduce evaporation and water use. In the heat of summer conserving water can be particularly important. Mulch reduces evaporation preserving the water in the ground where your plants can access it through their root system.
Regulate Sub-Surface Temperatures
Another very important benefit to mulch in the heat of summer is regulation of ground temperature. A 3 to 4 inch blanket of mulch is excellent insulation, protecting the ground from direct sun, and greatly reducing the temperature several inches below ground level. This is where your plants’ roots live, thrive and do the hard work of absorbing moisture and nutrients. They will be much healthier and more productive with the reduction in temperature that mulch provides.
Types of Mulch
As for types of mulch, we recommend hardwood or cedar-wood for most gardens. Some gardeners prefer pine mulch, but while it is somewhat less expensive, it also breaks down more quickly and will need to be reapplied frequently. Cedar is the most expensive of the three but does help reduce garden pests in some instances, due to its natural repellent properties.
To apply mulch, simply place it in the garden from the bag or with a shovel, and carefully spread it around your plants by hand or with a rake. Mulch will reduce your water use, reduce the time required to weed, as well as reduce soil loss due to wind and run-off. Plus it will help your plants to thrive through the summer heat!
September is a pivotal month for your landscape, with the official arrival of Autumn later this month, and hopefully, a return to cooler and wetter weather. It’s the gateway month between summer and fall gardening so get outside and improve your landscape.
September is the time to apply lawn fertilizer to keep the grass healthy and growing up to the first frost. Always follow the directions on the package and avoid over fertilizing, which will only damage your lawn.
Sow Spring Wildflowers (like Bluebonnets) seed now. For more reliable, uniform seed germination of our State flower, purchase acid-treated Bluebonnets seed. This treatment pits the seed coat, allowing nearly 100% germination in one to two weeks.
Divide your perennial about every third or fourth year to prevent overcrowded beds. Spread a liberal amount of organic matter evenly over the area and mix into the soil at least 6 to 8 inches deep. Space divisions at least one foot apart in all directions so root competition will not be a problem for several years.
September is an excellent month to begin planting trees and most shrubs. Fall landscaping done now will be well-rooted by next Spring and Summer. Purchase Spring blooming bulbs as soon as they become available. Tulips and Hyacinths should be stored in a refrigerator until November.
Plant your fall vegetable garden. Plant cool-season vegetable garden with transplants of Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Chard, Collards, Lettuce, Kale, Endive and Mustard. Water your new vegetables and lightly top-dress with mulch to discourage weeds.
Replenish mulch in beds for winter protection. Change irrigation frequency with the shorter, cooler days of fall. Clean up debris from annual and perennial beds so insects won’t winter there.
Information courtesy of Calloway's Nursery ©2016, Attribution to Calloway's 
required for all use and reproduction.