Commentary

PLANTING CALENDAR FOR DALLAS, TX

These planting dates are courtsey of:  https://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-calendar/TX/Dallas  Click the link for more information regarding planting in Dallas, TX.

PLANTING DATES FOR SPRING

On average, your last spring frost occurs on March 12 (at DALLAS LOVE FLD, TX climate station).
Crop Based on Frost Dates    Based on Moon Dates
Start Seeds IndoorsPlant Seedlings
or Transplants
Start Seeds Outdoors
Basil  Jan 15-29
 Jan 15-28
 Mar 12-Apr 2
 Mar 13-28
N/A
Beets N/A N/A  Feb 26-Mar 19
 Feb 28-Mar 12
Bell Peppers  Jan 1-15
 Jan 13-15
 Mar 19-Apr 2
 Mar 19-28
N/A
Broccoli  Jan 15-29
 Jan 15-28
 Feb 12-Mar 5
 Feb 12-27
N/A
Brussels Sprouts  Jan 15-29
 Jan 15-28
 Feb 12-26
 Feb 12-26
N/A
Cabbage  Jan 15-29
 Jan 15-28
 Feb 12-26
 Feb 12-26
N/A
Cantaloupes  Feb 12-19
 Feb 12-19
 Mar 26-Apr 9
 Mar 26-28
N/A
Carrots N/A N/A  Feb 5-19
 Feb 5-10
Cauliflower  Jan 15-29
 Jan 15-28
 Feb 12-Mar 5
 Feb 12-27
N/A
Celery  Jan 1-15
 Jan 13-15
 Mar 19-Apr 2
 Mar 19-28
N/A
Chives N/A N/A  Feb 12-19
 Feb 12-19
Cilantro (Coriander) N/A N/A  Mar 12-26
 Mar 13-26
Corn N/A N/A  Mar 12-26
 Mar 13-26
Cucumbers  Feb 12-19
 Feb 12-19
 Mar 26-Apr 9
 Mar 26-28
N/A
Dill N/A N/A  Feb 5-19
 Feb 11-19
Eggplants  Jan 1-15
 Jan 13-15
 Mar 26-Apr 9
 Mar 26-28
N/A
Green Beans N/A N/A  Mar 19-Apr 9
 Mar 19-28
Kale  Jan 15-29
 Jan 15-28
 Feb 12-Mar 5
 Feb 12-27
N/A
Lettuce  Jan 29-Feb 12
 Feb 11-12
 Feb 26-Mar 26
 Feb 26-27, Mar 13-26
N/A
Okra N/A N/A  Mar 26-Apr 9
 Mar 26-28
Onions N/A N/A  Feb 12-Mar 5
 Feb 28-Mar 5
Oregano  Jan 1-29
 Jan 13-28
 Mar 12-Apr 2
 Mar 13-28
N/A
Parsley N/A N/A  Feb 12-26
 Feb 12-26
Parsnips N/A N/A  Feb 19-Mar 12
 Feb 28-Mar 12
Peas N/A N/A  Jan 29-Feb 19
 Feb 11-19
Potatoes N/A N/A  Mar 5-26
 Mar 5-12
Pumpkins  Feb 19-Mar 5
 Feb 19-27
 Mar 26-Apr 9
 Mar 26-28
N/A
Radishes N/A N/A  Jan 15-Feb 5
 Jan 29-Feb 5
Rosemary  Jan 1-15
 Jan 13-15
 Mar 19-Apr 9
 Mar 19-28
N/A
Sage  Jan 15-29
 Jan 15-28
 Mar 12-26
 Mar 13-26
N/A
Spinach N/A N/A  Jan 29-Feb 19
 Feb 11-19
Summer Squash (Zucchini)  Feb 12-26
 Feb 12-26
 Mar 26-Apr 9
 Mar 26-28
N/A
Sweet Potatoes  Feb 12-19  Mar 26-Apr 9
 Mar 29-Apr 9
N/A
Swiss Chard  Jan 29-Feb 12
 Feb 11-12
 Feb 19-26
 Feb 19-26
N/A
Thyme  Jan 1-29
 Jan 13-28
 Mar 12-Apr 2
 Mar 13-28
N/A
Tomatoes  Jan 15-29
 Jan 15-28
 Mar 19-Apr 9
 Mar 19-28
N/A
Turnips N/A N/A  Feb 12-Mar 5
 Feb 28-Mar 5
Watermelons  Feb 12-19
 Feb 12-19
 Mar 26-Apr 9
 Mar 26-28
N/A

PLANTING DATES FOR FALL

On average, your first fall frost occurs on November 22 (at DALLAS LOVE FLD, TX climate station).
Crop Based on Frost Dates
Start Seeds Indoors by...Plant Seedlings Outdoors by...Start Seeds Outdoors by...
Beets N/A N/A  Oct 8
Bell Peppers  Jun 9  Aug 4 N/A
Broccoli  Aug 11  Sep 8 N/A
Brussels Sprouts  Aug 1  Aug 29 N/A
Cabbage  Aug 1  Aug 29 N/A
Cantaloupes N/A N/A  Jul 25
Carrots N/A N/A  Oct 3
Cauliflower  Aug 11  Sep 8 N/A
Celery  May 31  Aug 9 N/A
Corn N/A N/A  Aug 14
Cucumbers N/A N/A  Aug 19
Eggplants  Jun 9  Aug 4 N/A
Green Beans N/A N/A  Aug 19
Kale  Aug 31  Sep 28 N/A
Lettuce N/A N/A  Oct 13
Okra N/A N/A  Aug 14
Parsnips N/A N/A  Aug 19
Peas N/A N/A  Sep 18
Potatoes N/A N/A  Sep 8
Pumpkins N/A N/A  Jul 5
Radishes N/A N/A  Oct 18
Spinach N/A N/A  Oct 28
Summer Squash (Zucchini) N/A N/A  Aug 24
Swiss Chard N/A N/A  Oct 13
Tomatoes  Jun 14  Aug 9 N/A
Turnips N/A N/A  Oct 13
Watermelons N/A N/A  Jul 25

2021 MOON PHASES

Moon phases 2021

Moon phase
Date
Time
Last quarter January 6, 2021 02:38:35 AM
New moon January 12, 2021 10:02:37 PM
First quarter January 20, 2021 02:03:35 PM
Full moon January 28, 2021 12:18:35 PM
Last quarter February 4, 2021 10:38:42 AM
New moon February 11, 2021 12:08:11 PM
First quarter February 19, 2021 11:49:06 AM
Full moon February 27, 2021 01:19:36 AM
Last quarter March 5, 2021 06:32:00 PM
New moon March 13, 2021 03:23:32 AM
First quarter March 21, 2021 07:41:46 AM
Full moon March 28, 2021 11:50:04 AM
Last quarter April 4, 2021 03:04:12 AM
New moon April 11, 2021 07:32:56 PM
First quarter April 20, 2021 12:00:01 AM
Full moon
(Supermoon)
April 26, 2021 08:33:04 PM
Last quarter May 3, 2021 12:51:43 PM
New moon May 11, 2021 12:01:33 PM
First quarter May 19, 2021 12:13:13 PM
Full moon
(Supermoon)
May 26, 2021 04:14:51 AM
Last quarter June 2, 2021 12:26:04 AM
New moon June 10, 2021 03:54:05 AM
First quarter June 17, 2021 08:54:44 PM
Full moon June 24, 2021 11:40:14 AM
Last quarter July 1, 2021 02:12:39 PM
New moon July 9, 2021 06:17:43 PM
First quarter July 17, 2021 03:11:37 AM
Full moon July 23, 2021 07:37:27 PM
Last quarter July 31, 2021 06:18:16 AM
New moon August 8, 2021 06:50:46 AM
First quarter August 15, 2021 08:21:04 AM
Full moon August 22, 2021 05:02:15 AM
Last quarter August 30, 2021 12:15:02 AM
New moon September 6, 2021 05:52:01 PM
First quarter September 13, 2021 01:41:20 PM
Full moon September 20, 2021 04:54:44 PM
Last quarter September 28, 2021 06:58:24 PM
New moon October 6, 2021 04:05:44 AM
First quarter October 12, 2021 08:27:35 PM
Full moon October 20, 2021 07:57:41 AM
Last quarter October 28, 2021 01:06:44 PM
New moon November 4, 2021 02:15:26 PM
First quarter November 11, 2021 05:48:22 AM
Full moon November 19, 2021 01:59:41 AM
Last quarter November 27, 2021 05:29:51 AM
New moon December 4, 2021 12:44:30 AM
First quarter December 10, 2021 06:37:32 PM
Full moon December 18, 2021 09:37:58 PM
Last quarter December 26, 2021 07:26:00 PM

WHAT TO DO IN THE GARDEN IN JANUARY

January To Do List

From: https://www.centraltexasgardener.org/resource/january-to-do-list/

Plant: ornamental & wildlife

  • Annual transplants: pansies, violas, calendula (wildlife plant), snapdragon, stock, larkspur, ornamental kale & cabbage, bluebonnet transplants, poppies. Transplants are preferred over seeds at this point.
  • Evergreen perennials
  • Trees, shrubs, roses
  • Evergreen groundcovers like monkey grass, liriope, creeping germander, frogfruit

Plant: herbs

  • Calendula, chervil, cilantro, chives, dill, parsley, feverfew, oregano, sorrel, thyme, garlic chives
  • Protect cilantro and chives in below freezing weather

Plant: food crops

  • Artichokes, asparagus, onions, greens, lettuce, spinach, radish, carrots, beets, bok choy, collards, kale, peas, turnips, leeks, broccoli
  • Prep potatoes to plant in February. Get now to cut and dry for a few weeks
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Vegetable Planting Guides (Central Texas)

Plant: fruit

  • Apples, peaches, pecans, pears, pomegranates, persimmons, figs, almonds, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries

Prune

  • Okay to prune freeze-damaged perennials. If possible, leave as long as possible for wildlife shelter and food on seed-bearers
  • Prune grapes, fruit trees, blackberries
  • Cut asters and chrysanthemums to rosettes
  • Late month: prune woody salvias as much as ⅔ to encourage new growth
  • Trees, including red oaks and live oaks
  • Prune rosemary and oregano
  • Avoid pruning other evergreen shrubs

Divide/Move

  • Dormant perennials, roses, shrubs and trees. This is the best time to move plants!

Prep

  • Add compost to vegetable gardens along with organic fertilizer in prep for another round of winter vegetables
  • Soil test

Lawn

  • If must mow, keep high to shade out germinating weeds
  • It’s really not a good idea to overseed with rye unless you have new, muddy construction and a dog!

Other tasks

  • Spray trees
  • Keep floating row cover available; avoid covering plants with plastic
  • Spray fruit trees with dormant oil to control overwintering scale, plum curculio and other pests.

FEED WILD BIRDS QUALITY SEED

Article and image from https://thebackyardnaturalist.com/wordpress/

Feed Quality Seed to Wild Birds?

Why Quality Bird Seed Matters- Wild birds must maximize nutritionhttps://thebackyardnaturalist.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/TheBYN-bluejay-peanut-Dapuglet-flickr-200x200.jpg 200w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" style="margin: 0px; padding: 10px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: top; background: none; max-width: 575px;">

Blue Jay takes two! Photo: DaPuglet,flickr CC. Top: Red-breasted Nuthatch with Black Oil Sunflower seed. Bauschard, flickr CC

Empty Calories are Lost Nourishment!

Wild birds must be efficient eaters to survive. They seek the best nutritional content available and eat their fill quickly.

For wild birds, with their fast-acting metabolism and high calorie requirements, eating anything that doesn’t contain essential protein, fat and carbohydrates is a lost opportunity for nourishment.

Premium quality seed maximizes nutrition.

Never feed bread to wild birds.

Please NEVER feed bread, crackers, popcorn or other human snack food items to birds. They contain zero nutrition, but give birds the artificial feeling that they are full. Wild birds, in particular, Chickadees, can freeze to death overnight with seemingly full stomachs. This includes all wild birds, even ducks and geese who can develop a debilitating condition called “angel wing syndrome” from the lack of nutrition.

What is Best Quality Bird Seed?

Premium bird seed is:

  • https://thebackyardnaturalist.com//wordpress/wp-content/uploads/checkbox-bullet.gif") none;">Fresh! Harvested from the most recent season
  • https://thebackyardnaturalist.com//wordpress/wp-content/uploads/checkbox-bullet.gif") none;">Free from pesticides
  • https://thebackyardnaturalist.com//wordpress/wp-content/uploads/checkbox-bullet.gif") none;">Non-GMO
  • https://thebackyardnaturalist.com//wordpress/wp-content/uploads/checkbox-bullet.gif") none;">Stored properly, free from moisture and contaminants
  • https://thebackyardnaturalist.com//wordpress/wp-content/uploads/checkbox-bullet.gif") none;">Not bulked out with filler seeds
  • https://thebackyardnaturalist.com//wordpress/wp-content/uploads/checkbox-bullet.gif") none;">High oil content

Bargain Seed isn’t Always the Best Deal

Not all bird seed is created equal! When feeding wild birds, think quality and value. There are reasons why that bag of mixed seed is so cheap!

Signs of inferior seed:

  • https://thebackyardnaturalist.com//wordpress/wp-content/uploads/checkbox-bullet.gif") none;">Full of irrelevant filler seeds undesirable for the majority of our local wild birds. This waste will end up on the ground beneath your feeders and attract less desirable scavenger birds and worse, rodents!
  • https://thebackyardnaturalist.com//wordpress/wp-content/uploads/checkbox-bullet.gif") none;">It’s old, nutrition depleted. Or rancid! Being held over from previous harvest(s) allows time for loss of nutrients and taste.
  • https://thebackyardnaturalist.com//wordpress/wp-content/uploads/checkbox-bullet.gif") none;">It’s been stored improperly, exposed to moisture.
  • https://thebackyardnaturalist.com//wordpress/wp-content/uploads/checkbox-bullet.gif") none;">Contains unacceptable amount of insect larvae or rodent feces.
  • https://thebackyardnaturalist.com//wordpress/wp-content/uploads/checkbox-bullet.gif") none;">It’s made by the same company who makes pesticides!!! RED FLAG!!! (See this most disturbing example on the US Department of Justice website: Scott’s Miracle-Gro ‘Morning Song’ Wild Bird Seed mix, distributed nationally, knowingly violated U.S. Federal Pesticide Law and killed unknown numbers of birds.)

How to Buy and Store Premium Quality Bird Seeds

  • Read the labels! Check the dates and make sure all the seed is the most recent season’s fresh crop.
  • Scan the list of ingredients in seed blends before you purchase. Premium bird seed will not have fillers, such as:
    • Milo
    • Red Millet
    • Rye
    • Wheat
    • Corn
  • Don’t buy more than your birds can eat in a few months. (We can help you figure out how much you need for your feeders.)
  • Store seed in a dry, airtight container, secure from insects or foragers.

How to Tell When Bird Seed Goes Bad

Has something about your bird seed changed since you bought it? If any of the following are present, dispose of it and buy fresh seed.

  • Unpleasant smell. It should smell fresh and nutty.
  • Stickiness and clumping. This means the seed is damp and in a pre-mold condition.
  • Change in color or has a dullness or powdery coating.
  • Evidence of insect infestation, i.e. spider-like webbing, cocoons.

Why Clean Feeders Matter

Clean Feeders are Healthy Feeders

A filthy bird feeder is unhealthy. A moldy bird feeder is dangerous! Wild birds are vulnerable to diseases caused by inhaling mold spores, among others. Keeping an eye on the cleanliness of your feeders and cleaning them quickly when needed is vital.

Before you refill a feeder, or top it off with food, remove any debris left by your guests. Make sure any remaining seed is dry and fresh. See below for knowing when bird seed is spoiled and should be replaced.

Keeping your feeder healthy is easy! Clean feeders regularly—at least once a month, more often when feeder traffic is heavy or during prolonged wet or humid weather. Hot soapy water and a good scrub is all it needs! Here’s the basic method:

The Easiest Way to Clean Your Bird Feeder

  1. Disassemble feeder.
  2. Soak in hot soapy water and use a brush/scrunge sponge to give all the parts a good scrub.
  3. Rinse thoroughly; until all soap is gone.
  4. Let parts dry completely.
  5. Reassemble feeder and fill it with fresh seed.

Supporting Backyard Birds Will Bring Unlimited Joy

Your conscientious effort to keep your feeders clean and stocked with the best available food could help generations of wild birds stay healthy! Not to mention rewarding you with countless hours of joy! Backyard bird feeders are an excellent opportunity to see birds up close and at their best, all year round.

Don’t Forget Water!

Wait, there’s more! Another very important way you can support wild birds health and well being is by adding a water source to your backyard habitat. Water is critical to bird health during all seasons of the year. See “Wild Birds, Summer and Water” or “Wild Birds, Winter and Water” for more. Maintain your bird bath or fountain by keeping it clean and filled, with the same diligence as your feeders, and you will entice non-seed eaters to your backyard!