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February Garden Tips

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

February Garden Tips

February Garden Tips  Keep in mind that the average last freeze for North Texas area is not until mid-March. Even so, many plants normally begin to show Keep in mind that the average last freeze for North Texas area is not until mid-March. Even so, many plants normally begin to show signs of growth in February, which makes it the perfect time, to get outside and work in the yard.

 

Pruning is both an art and a necessary maintenance function. Most trees and shrubs can be lightly pruned at any time; however mid-w

inter is generally the best time for major pruning.

Summer flowering trees and shrubs should be pruned before buds begin to swell for Spring, generally they bloom on new growth; examples are crape myrtle, butterfly bush, spiraea and honeysuckle. If those seed heads on crepe myrtles bother you, remove them this month. Just clip back the ends of the branches, do not destroy the beauty of the gracefully sculptured trunks by severe pruning. Please never top a crape myrtle.

 Spring flowering plants such as azalea, Carolina jessamine, wisteria, forsythia, and quince should not be pruned until after the blooms are spent.

February is the best time for pruning most roses. Remove any old and diseased canes then cut the remaining canes back by 50%. Make your cuts above a bud that faces away from the center of the plant.

Early to mid-February marks the time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide for lawns. These products kill germinating seed. A second application may be needed in late May or early June. Remember that the best defense against lawn weeds is a healthy, thick turf resulting from good management.

Trim back perennials and ornamental grasses before the new growth appears in Spring. Clean up around plants and mulch well to protect.

Thinking about a spring garden? Look for onion sets and seed potatoes, they arrive early. By planting early, plants will be off to a better start and can become adjusted before the stresses of summer arrive.

Apply Pre-Emergents for Spring Weed Control

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

Apply pre emergents for spring weed control. Pick up diminsion and gallery pre emergents at J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas.

Regardless of what the groundhog says, spring is right around the corner and it’s time to think about spring weed control.  With the mild winter, we’ve had, it’s time to apply pre-emergent for your yard. You have about a six-week window to apply pre-emergents, from the first of February to the middle of March.  There are three factors that will determine when a seed will germinate: soil temperature, moisture, and sunlight. The pre-emergent must be applied and active BEFORE that magic moment of germination occurs.

At J&N, we’ve got several products we recommend for weed control:

Synthetic Pre-Emergents

Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed and Grass Stopper – Contain dimension pre-emergent, which provides superior control of crabgrass as well as control or suppression of other listed weeds when applied before they germinate. It also provides post-emergent control of crabgrass only and is effective on crabgrass up to four weeks after it has germinated and emerged. Do not apply this product later than four weeks after crabgrass has germinated. The12# bag covers 3,000 sq ft and the 35# bag that covers 10,000 square feet.

A-Vert Plus Lawn Food 18-0-12 –  Contains Gallery and Team, pre-emergent herbicides for control of annual grasses and broadleaf weeds in established home lawns. Apply only twice per year for effective dandelion and crabgrass control. A 12lb bag covers up to 2,000 square feet.

Weed Free Zone – Controls over 80 of the toughest-to-control broadleaf weeds including Clover, Ground Ivy, Spurge, Chickweed, Dandelion, Henbit, Oxalis, Poison Ivy, Purslane, Shepherds Purse, Thistle, Virginia Buttonweed, Wild Onion and many others listed on the label. Formulated for cooler weather, it’s a great first application of the season pre-emergent.

Organic Pre-Emergent

Corn Gluten Meal – An all-natural option for weed control is corn gluten meal. It is available in both granulated and powder form and it is applied at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

The key to success with these products is to apply the correct amount to your lawn.  Follow the label directions and know the square footage of your lawn.

 

Pruning Crape Myrtle Trees

Monday, January 31st, 2022
Pruning Crape Myrtle Trees. Variations of Crape Myrtle Trees in winter..

Never cap your crape myrtle trees. Above – the wrong way. Below – leave them as trees.

A touchy topic is pruning crape myrtle trees.  Do you prune them? When and how much?

The best time to prune is late winter, February – March.  The goal is to enhance the trees natural form, don’t force it to grow in a small space or prune it into an artificial shape.  Crape myrtles naturally grow as small upright or vase shaped trees with multiple trunks. A well pruned crape myrtle will have the trunks grow upward and outward. Additionally, the branches should fan out rather than growing inward into the center of the tree.

Remove crossing and inward growing branches.

To determine if your crape myrtle needs to be pruned, examine the direction in which the trunks and branches grow. Starting at ground level, follow the trunks upward to where they begin to branch. Focus on the interior of the tree rather than the outer edges. Branches that grow into the center of the tree, crossing over other branches or trunks, should be removed.

To remove a branch, follow it back to where it joins a larger branch or trunk. Take a close look at the point where the branch joins the trunk. You will notice at the point where the two join the branch is swollen or enlarged. This area is known as the branch collar. Using a pruning saw, remove the branch by cutting just above the branch collar rather than flush with the trunk. If the branch was removed at the correct place the branch collar left behind will extend out a centimeter or two from the trunk.

The wrong way to prune.

A misconception that crape myrtles need to be severely cut back in late winter or early spring in order to flower well in summer has led to the unhealthy practice of topping these plants. If necessary, crape myrtles can be reduced in height without being topped.

Topping (buck horning or de-horning) or “crape murder” involves cutting stems back at an arbitrarily chosen height rather than pruning back to a bud, side branch, or main stem. Topping trees and shrubs is harmful in many ways and regarded as an unacceptable practice by trained horticulturists and arborists.   Research shows that stem decay significantly increases when topping cuts are made, and that more dead branches also occur within the canopy.  The trees are more prone to disease as well with topping.

 

Tree Pruning Tips

Thursday, January 13th, 2022

It's pruning season, right?  That depends on what we are talking about. Read our Tree Pruning Tips and find out what and when to prune!It’s pruning season, right?  That depends on what we are talking about. Read our Tree Pruning Tips and find out what and when to prune!

It IS the season to prune hardwood trees such as black walnut, red oak, and white oak.  If you are ready to get out there and prune, but all means, get at it!  Here are some pruning tips:

  • Start at the top and work down. Assist the central leader by assuring its tip or apical bud is taller (higher) than any other leaders or branches that are competing for dominance. Totally remove or at least tip-prune any competitive leaders.
  • Remove no more than one-third of the tree canopy in any single year season. The key to a healthy root system is a healthy crown. If you remove too much of the tree’s ability to make food, root growth will suffer and set the stage for reduced crown growth the following year, which will lead to reduced root growth.
  • Do not prune flat to the stem. Instead, make an angled cut just outside of the branch collar (the donut-shaped growth surrounding the branches’ attachment to the tree) so that the wound is about the same diameter as the branch. Do not leave stubs.

Crape Myrtle Trees – don’t murder them! 

The best time to prune Crape Myrtle trees is late winter, February – March.  The goal is to enhance the tree’s natural form, don’t force it to grow in a small space or prune it into an artificial shape. Crape myrtles naturally grow as small upright or vase-shaped trees with multiple trunks. A well-pruned crape myrtle will have the trunks grow upward and outward, with branches fanning out rather than growing inward into the center of the tree.

The wrong way to prune. A misconception that Crape Myrtles need to be severely cut back in late winter or early spring in order to flower well in summer has led to the unhealthy practice of topping these plants. If necessary, Crape Myrtles can be reduced in height without being topped.

Topping (buck horning or dehorning) or “crape murder” involves cutting stems back at an arbitrarily chosen height rather than pruning back to a bud, side branch, or main stem. Topping trees and shrubs are harmful in many ways and regarded as an unacceptable practice by trained horticulturists and arborists.   Research shows that stem decay significantly increases when topping cuts are made and that more dead branches also occur within the canopy.  The trees are more prone to disease as well with topping.

Fruit Trees – NOT YET! 

WAIT…until the last hard freeze.  We need to wait until winter is almost over and spring is fast approaching. Since our average first frost-free day in Texas is around March 15, this month can be thought of as our early spring month. The best time to prune is late January through February.

Plants that bloom in early spring with the appearance of new leaves should be pruned after they flower. Those that bloom later in the spring or summer should be pruned during the dormant season in January or February.

Have any questions about our tree pruning tips?  Let us know.  We are here to help.

 

 

Tips For Planting Seed Potatoes

Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Tips for planting seed potatoes from J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas.Onion sets and seed potatoes arrive mid-January at J&N Feed and Seed. Planting seed potatoes and onions are at the top of everyone’s gardening list this time of year. As everyone in North Texas knows, our late January and February weather can be a gamble— temps can be spring-like one day and fall below freezing the next.  But, the weather extremes should not deter gardeners from planting during these months.  Potatoes are top of the list for planting this time of year.

Other good go-to cold weather vegetables are root produce such as turnips, beets, and carrots as well as hardy leafy greens like spinach, cabbage, kale, and chard. Bulb veggies (onions and garlic), as well as asparagus crowns, can also be planted at this time.

Preparing and Planting Potatoes 

When purchasing seed potatoes, look for certified seed potatoes. These are seeding potatoes that have not been treated with growth retardants to prevent sprouting. Conventional potatoes in grocery markets are typically treated with retardants.

After you have planned and prepared a garden spot with well-drained, loose soil, the seed potatoes can be prepped for planting:

Cut each seed potato into quarters (sulfur dust can be applied to the fresh cut ends) and let the potato quarters set out overnight or longer until cut sides callus over.  Seed potato quarters are then ready to plant— for a good rule of thumb, potato quarters should be planted 3” to 4” deep and spaced 12” to 15” apart. To provide plants plenty of growing room, make sure rows are spaced 24” to 36” apart.

Caring for Potato Plants

Potatoes need consistent moisture, so water regularly when tubers start to form.  Before the potato plants bloom, hilling should be done when the plant is about 6 inches tall. Hoe the dirt up around the base of the plant in order to cover the root as well as to support the plant. Bury the plant base in loose soil. Hilling will keep the potato plants from getting sunburned, in which case they turn green and will taste bitter.  You will need to hill potatoes every couple of weeks to protect your crop.

When the potato plants have bloomed, new potatoes are ready for harvest.  For larger potatoes, harvest only after plant tops has fallen over. For more information on planting seed potatoes, visit the Texas A&M website.

Other Cool Weather Vegetable Plantings

Lettuce, spinach, and cabbage can be planted at this time either by seeds or plant starts. For reference, these vegetables can be planted in February with seed or starter plants.

Stop by J&N for your seed potatoes, onion sets, and other cool-weather vegetables.

Pick Up Spring Onions & Seed Potatoes at J&N

Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Pick up spring onions & seed potatoes at J&N Feed and Seed. A variety of spring onions and seed potatoes arrive mid-January. We’ll have a good selection of Cole Crops arriving mid-February so keep an eye on Facebook and we’ll let you know when they’ve arrived.

Onions & seed potatoes at J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, TexasJ&N Onion Varieties

  • 1015-Sweet Onion  – A giant yellow onion with a super sweet taste. Onions can grow as large as softballs—and store well for 2-3 months.
  •  Georgia Sweet (Yellow Granex) – Sweet as an apple” is the expression used to describe its mild flavor.
  • White Granex – It is a white version of the popular Yellow Granex hybrid
  • Burgundy Red – Produces colorful, 4 in. wide onions that have red skins with a white & pink interior. It has a mild, sweet flavor.

February is the time to get your onions sets in the ground. Read more about planting onion sets here.

J&N Potato Varieties

Onions & Seed Potatoes at J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas

  • Kennebec Seed Potatoes – Thin, smooth skin and flesh make these oval potatoes an all-purpose pantry staple.
  • La Soda Seed Potatoes –  A distinctive rosy skin and waxy white flesh. Widely adapted and reliable withstands cold, heat and drought.

Tips For Planting Potatoes

When purchasing seed potatoes, look for certified seed potatoes. These are seeding potatoes which have not been treated with growth retardants to prevent sprouting.

After you have planned and prepared a garden spot with well-drained, loose soil, the seed potatoes can be prepped for planting:

Cut each seed potato into quarters (sulfur dust can be applied to the fresh cut ends) and let the potato quarters set out overnight or longer until cut sides callus over. Seed potato quarters are then ready to plant— for a good rule of thumb, potato quarters should be planted 3” to 4” deep and spaced 12” to 15” apart. To provide plants plenty of growing room, make sure rows are spaced 24” to 36” apart.

2022 Young County Jr. Livestock Show

Monday, January 3rd, 2022

The 2022 Young County Jr. Livestock Show kicks off  Wednesday, January 12, through Saturday, January 15, 2022,  in the Main Arena of the Young County Arena.The 2022 Young County Jr. Livestock Show kicks off  Wednesday, January 12, 2022, and runs through Saturday, January 15, 2022,  in the Main Arena of the Young County Arena. Come out and show your support for our local kids at this great event.

Before you head to the arena, stop by J&N Feed and Seed for Sullivan Show Supplies, show feeds by Lindner, Moorman, Honor Show Chow, shavings, and more. Let our experts help you raise a winner in the ring this show season. Good luck to everyone showing this year!

LocationYoung County Arena – 120 Barclay Blvd. Graham, TX

Date: Wednesday, January 12th  through Saturday, January 15, 2022

Click here for the 2022 Young County Jr. Livestock Show Schedule of Events.

Click here for driving directions to Young County Arena.

Tips for Raising Chickens in Winter

Friday, December 31st, 2021

Raising chickens in winter can be a lot of fun. Some hens love wandering around the yard and their first snow sighting can be quite entertaining. A bird’s thick feathers are a natural protective coat, so most breeds are well-equipped for winter.

Here are a few tips on how to care for chickens in the winter:

1. How to keep chickens warm in winter:

Do not add heat lamps. Chickens, especially cold-tolerant breeds, can withstand winter temperatures without supplemental heat. A chicken’s body temperature is around 106 degrees Fahrenheit, and they have their own protective layer of feathers to keep them warm.

If you feel it is necessary to provide a source of heat, only provide enough heat to raise the temperature a few degrees. The hens will adjust to the cold temperature, but if it is 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the coop and 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the run, birds will not be able to regulate their body temperature.

2. What to feed chickens in winter:

A common myth is to feed oatmeal to birds in the winter. This is not a beneficial treat for chickens. Oats contain some types of fiber that chickens can’t digest which can cause the contents of the digestive tract to thicken. This leads to a reduction in the bird’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Greens are also unnecessary. Hens may pick at hay and spread it around, but they are not going to eat it.

Feeding a complete layer feed like Purina® Layena®, Purina® Layena® Plus Omega-3 or Purina® Organic Pellets or Crumbles will provide the necessary nutrition hens need through the winter.

3. Ensure feed and water isn’t frozen.

Consider heated waterers. Feed and water birds more often when it’s below freezing. Energy needs increase in winter. Animals expend a considerable amount of energy to stay warm and will eat more feed. Complete layer feeds include all the energy hens need. The 90/10 rule still applies in winter.

4. Allow exploration.

Birds can tolerate snow, cold air and ice water. There is very little muscle in the lower part of bird legs and feet. The movements are controlled by tendons that stretch from the upper part of the legs down to the toes. \Secondly, the blood entering the lower legs and feet are cooled by the blood returning to the heart. The blood returning is thus warmed by the blood going to the toes. The tissue receives just enough heat to avoid frostbite while also being provided with enough oxygen to keep things functioning.

5. Collect eggs more frequently.

Temperatures below freezing result in frozen eggs. As the egg freezes, the contents expand and will cause the egg to crack.

6. Keep the chicken coop draft free.

But don’t seal it completely. Some air needs to be exchanged to prevent ammonia build up. Open the top vent or higher windows slightly so fresh air can enter and stale air can exit.

7. Keep the chicken coop dry.

Remove any wet spots daily. Provide more bedding than you would in other seasons so birds have a place to burrow and stay cozy.

8. Continue offering activities in the chicken coop.

Hens will spend more time in the coop, so offer enrichment. Logs, sturdy branches or chicken swings can work well and place a Purina® Flock Block® supplement in the coop for a nutritious place to peck.

Visit or call J & N Feed and Seed to get more tips for raising chickens in winter!

Article source: Purina Flock Management

January Garden Tips

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

January Garden Tips

It may be chilly outside at this time of the year, but winter is a perfect time for a number of outdoor chores. Just consider how much better outdoor chores like soil preparation, planting, transplanting, and pruning can be done without toiling in hot summer temperatures.

January Garden If you need to move a plant to a different spot in the landscape, this is the month to accomplish this job. Most plants move best when they are fully dormant as a result of prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Remove some of the top growth to compensate for the inevitable loss of some of the roots. Once the plant is moved, water thoroughly, apply root stimulator, and a few inches of mulch over the root area.

January is a great month to accomplish pruning of fruit trees. Annual pruning keeps the harvest within reach, thins crowded branches, allowing more light to penetrate developing fruit and stimulates new growth for next year’s crop. Shade trees can also be pruned at this time.

Fruit trees and vines can be planted at this time as the ground usually does not freeze here in north Texas. You can also prepare the soil for new flower, rose or shrub beds by mixing plenty of organic material like compost or a flower or shrub mix. This way the soil is ready for immediate planting when temperatures get a little warmer.

Fertilize pansies to keep them actively growing. Houseplants can be fertilized with reduced rates of water-soluble fertilizer this month. Do not over-water your houseplants.

Birds of all kinds appreciate a constant source of seed, suet and water during the winter and you will enjoy the activity they create in your backyard. Just remember once you start feeding, you should keep it up through the winter.

Cattle Mineral Tips For Fall

Thursday, October 21st, 2021

It’s a great idea to use Purina® Wind and Rain® Storm® Fly Control Mineral with Altosid® (IGR) 30 days after the first frost to prevent flies from overwintering and jump-starting spring populations.

Fall is approaching, which means it’s time to prepare your herd for the months ahead. Cattle nutrient requirements vary from season to season, so it’s important to evaluate the effectiveness of your feed program. Check out these tips for creating a healthy mineral program and preparing your cattle for fall.

QUICK, TIMELY CONSIDERATIONS FOR YOUR PURINA CATTLE MINERAL PROGRAM.

  • Understand your phosphorus levels as grasses dry down. For grass low in phosphorus, consider a high-phosphorus cattle mineral to meet animal needs.
  • Continue using Purina® Wind and Rain® Storm® Fly Control Mineral with Altosid® (IGR) 30 days after the first frost to prevent flies from overwintering and jump-starting spring populations.
  • Building base mineral and vitamin stores pre-weaning can help calves stay healthy. Provide Purina® Stress Tubs for calves in the creep feeder cage. If you don’t creep feed, make sure calves have access to a cattle mineral feeder with the rest of the cowherd.
  • Cows may crave salt more as grasses dry down. It can be helpful to provide additional salt in a granular mineral mix. Provide free-choice salt if using a cattle mineral tub that does not contain salt (i.e. non-complete).

Try Purina® minerals today through the Feed Greatness® Challenge and prepare your cattle for fall.

Source: Kent Tjardes, Ph.D., Field Cattle Consultant

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