This time of year – this year in particular – is always a reminder why the winters seem so long.
Just when we get past December and January and think spring is right round the corner, February comes and we realize winter is still here. Hopefully those who are feeding hay have plenty in the barn, because we still have ways to go.
Although we are looking forward to spring, there are several winter tasks that need done before spring arrives. Frost seeding legumes in pastures needs done now before the ground thaws out. It’s also time to make plans and order seeds for the coming gardening season. It will soon be time to start plants indoors to be set out later in the spring.
Pruning trees (fruit trees and ornamentals) and shrubs is another important activity that needs to be done in late winter or early spring. February and early March are ideal. It’s important for pruning to be done while the plants are still dormant from winter before active growth has begun in the spring. If pruning is done too late, after trees have left dormancy and started growth, there is a risk of causing injury and stress.
In the case of fruit trees, the result can be reduced fruit production. This being the case, if you miss the opportunity to prune while the trees are dormant, it is often better to wait until next year. So if you have trees needing pruned, now it the time to act!
To learn more about pruning and care of fruit trees, join the Texas County Master Gardeners at a free hands-on workshop conducted by University of Missouri Extension and learn the basics. The basics on best practices for taking care of different fruit trees will be covered, both in the classroom and with hands-on demonstrations. Patrick Byers, MU Extension Field Specialist in Horticulture, will be sharing his knowledge and experience with fruit trees and demonstrating pruning techniques. The workshop will be held Texas County Justice Center in Houston from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27. This event is open to the public, but registration is required. Numbers will be limited to allow for social distancing, and masks will be encouraged.
The program to discuss Missouri’s complicated Fence Law previously scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 23 has been changed to Monday, March 8 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. The training will be conducted from the Forage Systems Research Center (FSRC) in Linneus, Mo., and the Texas County Extension office will join the event via Zoom from the Extension conference room in Houston. There is a $15 charge for this meeting and that covers the program and materials. Pre-registration is recommended, as space is limited.
To learn more about these upcoming events, or to register, contact the Texas County Extension office in Houston.