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Welcome to Williamson County Horticulture!

The vision of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is to "Help Texans Better Their Lives" through the application of science-based knowledge and relevant continuing education programs.  This newsletter will offer relevant and timely information about growing fruits and vegetables; maintaining lawns and landscapes; and conserving our natural resources for the residents of Williamson County.

Freeze Injury

When I started writing this newsletter, we were bracing for a record-breaking freeze, but I had to update this article to say we are right in the middle of a record-breaking freeze.  In a year of unprecedented times, this weather is something else!  I expect to get calls for months related to freeze damage to landscape plants and trees.  

Plants are made up about 90% water, which helps to regulate temperature and transport nutrients.  When water inside plant cells freezes, ice crystals form that can cut the cell walls.  Fluid leaks out of the cells as the temperatures rise and the cells begin to decay.  You might have noticed the leaves on a plant that froze will turn dark and limp or it might turn brown and dry. 

Many trees and woody plants can resist freeze damage because they go dormant in the winter, like pecan and peach trees.  The warm weather we experienced over the last few weeks has encouraged many plants and trees to start flowering or putting on leaves, so we will probably see a lot of damage to the tender new growth.  

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for our area recommends plants that can survive temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.  We dropped down to two or three degrees Fahrenheit, so even our toughest plants might see damage from this winter storm.  

It might take some time to fully assess the damage to plants, especially woody plants like trees and shrubs.  You can tell if the limbs are damaged by scraping aside some of the bark to see if the tissue underneath is green or creamy, or if it has turned brown indicating damage.  I tend to be a "wait and see" kind of gardener, and recommend patience through the spring to see which plants come back.  This publication has good information about freeze injury.
Have you ever wanted to know how to grow greens but aren't sure how to get started? Join us for the Seed to Savor project!  You'll receive a full kit to grow microgreens at home with weekly live educational sessions. Order your kit today!   
Pruning Roses
Our Green Thumbs Up program has moved online! Be sure to subscribe to the Wilco Master Gardener YouTube Channel to get notifications for our next video.
The Results Are In!

In December 2020, Williamson County AgriLife Extension Service hosted the county Pecan Show and advanced 14 entries to the Central Region Pecan Show at Texas A&M University in College Station.  Our pecan growers have a lot to be proud of with several entries advancing to the Texas State Pecan Show in July 2021.

1st Place Kiowa: Robert Kaderka
3rd Place Kiowa: Dennis and Marilyn Perz
1st Place Mohawk: Bobby and Wanda Shelton
1st Place Nacono: Robert Kaderka
1st Place Shoshoni: Bobb and Wanda Shelton
3rd Place Cheyenne: Bobby and Wanda Shelton
3rd Place Choctaw: Robert Kaderka

Be sure to stop by a farmers market to get some fresh, locally grown pecans!

Upcoming Events:

Master Gardener Monthly Meeting: Seasonal Herbs
March 8

Seed to Savor: Microgreens
March 10-24

Master Gardener Plant Sale Fundraiser
Online Orders: March 25-26
Pick-up Day: April 2

Texas Pecan Short Course
June 7-10, 2021 - Bryan, Texas

Aggie Horticulture Facebook Live:
Wednesdays and Fridays at 1:00pm
Full Schedule and Resources

Please check out our website calendar for online events:
We want to hear from you!  Let us know about the strengths and needs in your community. Complete this 10-minute survey to let us know what is important to you.  
It's time to plant potatoes in the garden.  Try this recipe for Roasted Fries for some potato inspiration. 

Pre-emergent Weed Control

Now is the time of year that it seems like everyone is talking about weeds!  The winter weeds are actively growing and being a nuisance, and we need to start thinking about preventing warm-season weeds.  Read more here...

While you wait out the winter weather, spend some time planning for spring and check out the Texas Superstar Plants.  These are researched for super performance in all parts of Texas.  
Kate Whitney is the Horticulturalist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Williamson County.   For more information about lawn and garden topics, contact Kate at the Extension Office at 512-943-3300.
Copyright © 2021 Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office, All rights reserved.

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