Posts In: Seasonal Tips
Front of Tom's Thumb Nursery in Galveston, Texas

Dormancy

We love our tropical plants and our evergreen shrubs, but dormancy and a lack of growth in the winter still occurs here. Most obviously, our lawn grasses go dormant in the “cold” weather and we don’t have to worry about cutting them. However, all plants will be less active in cooler weather. Don’t worry about plants not putting out new shoots or not growing any taller; they really shouldn’t be very active in winter. Trees like crape myrtle that are deciduous shouldn’t be fertilized now. We should wait to fertilize deciduous trees and shrubs until they are ready to leaf out again in March. Fertilizing early could cause new shoots that will get blasted off by the north wind.

Winter Pruning

Due to the shortness of the cold season and how warm it has been, we don’t recommend winter pruning just yet. February is our preferred month for those severe winter cuts. It also leaves your plants looking full for the holiday season. Deciduous fruit trees can be pruned in January; however, citrus, that have their fruit still on them, shouldn’t be pruned until after you harvest the fruit.

Is your landscape ready for the Holidays?
We continue to offer full landscaping services. Call or Email us to schedule:

  • Maintenance Rejuvenation
  • Garden Refresh

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violas

Vegetables and Herbs – Continue to plant arugula, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, chard, collards, lettuce, mustard greens, kale and more!
Here is a link to Dr. William Johnson’s article “Harvesting Tips for Cool Season Vegetables”.

Perennials & Annuals – It’s time to plant alyssum, cyclamen, mums, pansies, snapdragons, violas and ornamental cabbages. If you haven’t done so already, work some compost into the soil before planting.

Plant Bulbs Now – Paperwhites, Amaryllis, Tulips

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veronica romanesco

Vegetables and Herbs – Continue to plant arugula, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, chard, collards, lettuce, mustard greens, kale and more! When planting transplants, water them in with a soluble organic fertilizer solution to get them off to a good start. Continue a light application of organic fertilizer every few weeks. Watch for pests, such as aphids and caterpillars. Sprays of insecticidal soap will control aphids and sprays or dust containing Bt will control caterpillars.

Perennials & Annuals – It’s time to plant alyssum, cyclamen, mums, pansies, snapdragons, violas, and ornamental cabbages. If you haven’t done so already, work some compost into the soil before planting.

Trees, Shrubs & Vines – This is the best time of the year to plant woody ornamentals! This is also the best time to move a plant already growing in the landscape. Stop in and let is help you select a beautiful shrub or tree for your Fall landscape. Our landscape department will be happy to plant for you. Give us a call to schedule.

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October 30, 2020

Holiday Arrangements

Wreath

We specialize in custom bow and wreath making.

We also offer services to fully decorate your tree with the ornaments, ribbons, and dazzling extras in any of our themes such as traditional, nautical, fashion-inspired, nature and many more.

Fill out our form before if you’d like to place an order!

Wreath Coast Magazine
Our Wreath was featured in Coast Magazine in Galveston, Texas!

Custom Arrangement Design

  • If you like Judy will put together an arrangement based on your home decor. Upload any examples you like here.
    Drop files here or
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Tom's Thumb Nursery

Here are 6 reasons why you should fit some time in between watching football games and pulling out the Halloween decorations to plant your trees, shrubs, bulbs, and perennials.

Tom's Thumb Nursery
  1. Warm soil + cool air = happy plants
  2. Less insect pest and disease pressure
  3. Less water stress
  4. Planting is more pleasant
  5. Plants have a head start for next spring
  6. Better drought tolerance

Is your landscape ready for fall? Tom’s Thumb Nursery continues to offer full landscaping services. We can give your fall garden a refresh and maintenance rejuvenation. Just give us a call or fill out the form below to schedule, and we’ll be there!

Landscaping Form

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October 2, 2020

Lawn Care for October

Fall Fertilization – Make a fall application of an organic fertilizer . Make sure not to over-fertilize because that can predispose the grass to brown patch. The purpose of fertilizing now is to get some nitrogen and potassium to the grass to help it prepare for winter and come out stronger in the spring.
Lawn Fungus – If brown patch is an annual problem on your lawn, apply a fungicide early this month to get ahead of the infection. Once the brown circles appear, it is too late to make them go away.If take all root rot has been a problem, it may help to apply a thin layer of finely ground peat moss early this month. Spread one or two 3.8 cu ft bales per 1,000 square feet of lawn and water in down to the soil surface.
Weed Control – If you are planning on applying something to prevent weed germination, do so early this month. We recommend using Corn Gluten for an organic weed pre-emergent.


MicroLife Solutions for Salty Soil

Our Humate Plus is a great long term product for salt remediation. You should put it out a couple of times a year for a couple of years after being inundated with saltwater.
Will not burn and is completely safe for all beneficial life forms.

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FOXFARM BUSHDOCTOR – SledgeHammer

SledgeHammer® is a unique rinse formula designed to remove concentrated mineral salt deposits.
Derived from saponin, an extract of the Yucca schidigera plant.
SledgeHammer® is designed for organic gardening and can be used for both hydroponic and soil applications.

FOXFARM Website

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Vegetables and Herbs – Now is the time to plant cool season vegetables & herbs: transplants such as arugula, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, collards, eggplant, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, onions, pak choi, spinach, squash, Swiss shard, tomatoes, zucchini and more! Also look for basil, chives, cilantro, lavender, lemongrass, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, mint and more!

Fall Planting Guide

Perennials & Annuals – Some of our favorite annuals and perennials are arriving this month. Plant those cool season flowers such as alyssum, snapdragons, mums, calendula, dianthas, ornamental kale, verbena, violas and more!

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Lantana

Don’t forget about your plants if you are planning a vacation this summer. Install a timer on your drip system. Here is a tip from the Texas Gardener: If your plants are in containers, set the containers in a shallow kiddie pool with a few inches of water. Place mosquito dunks in the water to prevent mosquitos. Another suggestion is to use a plant nanny in your pots and in the ground.

BT

Web Caterpillars


These insect pests produce a web that envelopes leaves near the tips of the branches. They prefer mulberry and pecan, however, webworms will feed on a wide variety of other landscape trees ( Oak) and shrubs.
These pests can be controlled with organic insecticides such as Dipel, Bio-worm Killer or other organic spray products containing Bacillus thuringiensis. B.t. The caterpillars eat it, become sick almost immediately, stop feeding and then die within a few days.

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Hummingbird Feeder

Fill your hummingbird feeder with this recipe from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute.

Ingredients

  • Refined white sugar
  • Water
Hummingbird Feeder

Directions for making safe hummingbird food:

  1. Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water (for example, 1 cup of sugar with 4 cups of water) until the sugar is dissolved
  2. Do not add red dye
  3. Fill your hummingbird feeders with the sugar water and place outside
  4. Extra sugar water can be stored in a refrigerator
  5. Change feeders every other day and thoroughly clean them each time to prevent harmful mold growth

Some tips on hummingbird feeders:

  • Hummingbirds prefer red feeders because most of the flowers they feed on have red in them.
  • Pick a spot in your backyard with vegetation no more than 10 to 15 feet away: Hummingbirds feel most comfortable where there’s cover nearby
  • What else attracts hummingbirds to a feeder? Fresh nectar

Source: Good Housekeeping

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Russian Sage

With more than 7 million people participating across the country and 2.5 million acres of Certified Wildlife Habitat, the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife movement is the nation’s longest-running and largest effort dedicated to helping wildlife locally.

The initiative reconnects our neighborhoods, towns, and cities to our nation’s amazing wild spaces by encouraging Americans to plant native plants. From wildflowers to trees, there are small things we can do to provide natural sources of food, water, cover, and spaces to raise young in our backyards and communities.

Anyone can support and protect the future of birds, bees, butterflies, and other amazing animals. 

The National Wildlife Federation is inviting individuals, families, and communities to design a garden space that will enhance the natural landscape and attract wildlife to their great outdoors. 

Here are several easy and impactful ways to participate and start helping your local wildlife: 

Create a Habitat for Your Local Wildlife. Think first of the birds, butterflies, and bees that you can support in your garden habitat. Then select plants that provide the kinds of food they need, such as nectar, berries, or seeds. Plant according to your region, local environment, and conditions, from sunny deserts to shady woodlands.

Think Small. No yard, no problem! For those with small outdoors spaces, select pots and planters that will allow you to plant a selection of blooming pollinator-friendly native plants. 

Plant for year-round diversity and beauty. Wildlife needs food, water, cover and places to raise young all year. Choose a variety of plants that bloom at different times of the year, from native wildflowers to shrubs that produce berries. Evergreens provide year-round cover. Think vertically, too. Incorporate existing large trees and then underplant with smaller trees and shrubs for cover and nesting places.

Plant in Groups. This will result in more color, textural impact, and eye-catching patterns throughout the garden bed or landscape. This technique also draws the eye into the garden and the close plantings will prevent weeds and minimize the need for excess mulching. Clusters of blooming plants are more likely to attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

Water sources. Adding bird baths or container water gardens help attract a variety of wildlife, from birds to tree frogs.

Certify Your Garden. Celebrate by certifying your garden with the National Wildlife Federation and proudly display a sign! Show why you have designed your yard intentionally to help wildlife and encourage others to do the same. Certifying also spreads the wildlife gardening message to your entire neighborhood.

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