By Tara McKnight

Texas Cooperative Extension, Wichita County, horticulture

Texas

Since fall and winter is the perfect time for pruning, I will be holding a "How to Properly Prune Trees and Shrubs" on Nov. 10. This class will teach you how to properly prune your trees and shrubs. With proper pruning you can reduce the future problems that your tree might have, as well as increase its beauty. The class will be at 10 a.m., at my office (600 Scott, Suite 200). My office is on the corner of 6th and Scott in the courthouse annex. There is a metal door on 6th Street that you will need to enter in and come to the second floor. The cost of the class is $1 plus a can of food. The can of food will be donated to the area food bank. I look forward to seeing you there.

There will be a Fall Plant/Garden Swap for the Wichita Falls area on Nov. 10, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at the Belair Park. For those of you who do not know where Belair Park is the directions are as follows: Turn west off Fairway Blvd., onto Del Rio Trail; turn south onto Lesley Heights; turn west onto Opal Street; Belair Park is on Opal Street.

Please feel free to bring any indoor or outdoor plants that you have made divisions of or have seeds from, gardening books/magazines, planters, birdhouses, garden tools; really just anything to do with gardening. There will be a winter seed sowing demonstration, so clear Ziplock type food containers with lids are great to exchange, as well.

It may be a good idea to bring a folding table to put garden items on. Plants/goodies that are available for trade will be on top of the table and plants/goodies that you will be taking home can go under the table. Also, bring a pen and notepad to take notes on the plants/seeds that you receive. If you bring plants or seeds, please make sure that they are clearly labeled. Don't forget to bring a chair.

Here is a list of items that can be done in the month of November.

--The woody portions of shrubs and perennials may be left in place until further in the season. Late December through February is usually the best time to prune them.

--Reduce the fertilization of indoor plants from late October to mid-March. An exception would be plants in an atrium or a well lighted window.

--Take care to examine house plants on a weekly basis to discover pests such as aphids before they have multiplied extensively. Control these pests with a stream of spray outside, rub them off with your fingers or a swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or soapy solution.

--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.

--Don't spare the pruning shears when transplanting bare-rooted woody plants. Cut the tops back at least one-third to one-half, to compensate for the roots lost when digging the plant.

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

--Protect your lawn from excessive winter damage by providing irrigation during dry periods.

--Plant spring-flowering bulbs if you haven't already done so. Be sure to refrigerate tulips and hyacinths for 6 to 8 weeks prior to planting.

--Take advantage of good weather to prepare garden beds for spring planting. Work in any needed organic matter, and have beds ready to plant when needed.

Your garden and landscape questions are always welcome. You may either contact me at our County Extension office, 940-716-8610, or by e-mail, tcmcknight@ag.tamu.edu. You are always encouraged to visit the Wichita County Master Gardner website at www.overthegardengate.org. Another great website to visit for very useful garden hints and answers is http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/. This article, along with every article, will also be featured on www.joetomwhite.com 24 hours a day under county agents.

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