The Christmas decorations are down but they are not put away. With the help of the city, we purchased a building from Jeanette and Bobby Fishbeck. It was moved into the park on Wednesday. We still need to add shelves and pegs in order to store decorations.
It’s time to sharpen the tools and prepare for spring planting. This may be the year for you to build raised planting beds. Your health may dictate the size and height. You may have problems reaching, stretching or bending. The size really depends on your needs.
Use hay, crushed granite or mulch to spread in the walkways. This will save time getting rid of grass or weeds coming up in the areas around the beds. Build the beds out of wood, stone, or concrete blocks. A 5 foot by 8 foot bed is a good size to begin with. It will grow a large amount of food but you won’t be overwhelmed. Fill the bed with a good garden mix or use native top soil. Add a layer of soil and cover it with a layer of compost and a layer of fertilizer. Mix these items together and let them sit until you are ready to plant.
If you are planting tomatoes, dig the holes where they will be planted and add a tablespoon of epsom salts. When it is time to plant, place the plant in the hole, cover and water thoroughly; add mulch. Keep the plants damp but not too wet. This will help the fruit from turning black on the bottom. Keep a cover nearby if a sudden freeze happens.
Bare-root fruit and nut trees, roses and shrubs are now arriveing in the nurseries. Trust your nursery person for the correct species for our part of the Hill Country. Remember, our chilling hours are not the same as Fredericksburg or San Antonio.
Plant peaches, pears, plums, apples, persimmons, figs, blackberries, and grapes. Some trees need a second tree for good pollination.
Lists are available at the Blanco County extension office in Johnson City. These lists are very helpful. Call 830-868-7167.