Enjoy all your local news and sports for less than 6¢ per day.

Subscribe Now

Carolyn asked: “Will my apple tree pollinate my plum tree?”

Great question, Carolyn.

Apple trees cannot pollinate plum trees effectively because they belong to different species within the same plant family, Rosaceae. The two fruit trees have distinct genetic characteristics and flower structures. 

Successful pollination requires the transfer of pollen from the male parts (anthers) of one tree to the female parts (stigma) of another of the same species. Apple trees typically have a different pollination mechanism, including variations in flower morphology and timing, compared to plum trees. As a result, the pollen from an apple tree is unlikely to match the specific requirements for pollinating a plum tree, hindering the successful fertilization and production of viable seeds. 

Cross-pollination between these two fruit tree species is generally not feasible, emphasizing the importance of selecting compatible pollinators within the same species for optimal fruit production.


1. February is one of the best months for planting trees, shrubs, ground cover, perennials, and vines.

2. Veggies to plant: artichokes, asparagus, onions, greens, kohlrabi, lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots, beets, bok choy, collards, kale, peas, turnips, leeks, broccoli, shallot bulbs, cabbages, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, English peas, Swiss chard.

3. Tasty herbs to plant at this time: calendula, chervil, cilantro, chives, dill, parsley, feverfew, oregano, sorrel, thyme, garlic, chives. If/when the weather drops below freezing, protect your chives and cilantro.

4. February fruit plants to choose from: apple, peach, pecan, pear, pomegranate, persimmon, fig, almond, grape, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry.

5. Did you sharpen your pruning tools last month? Prune dormant perennials, rosemary, oregano, and roses. Next time, we’ll cover how to prune fruit trees.

6. Pretties to plant: Alyssum, calendulas, cannas, daylilies, daisies, gladiolas, poppies, larkspur, pansies, petunias, pinks, primrose, snapdragons.

7. Remember the season, not the day-to-day weather.

8. Have you incorporated the regular items on your produce grocery list into your garden plan?


Even in cold weather, you should be on the lookout for snakes due to their ectothermic nature, meaning they rely on external sources to regulate their body temperature. In colder temperatures, snakes become lethargic and less active, making them more challenging to detect. As a result, people could inadvertently step on or disturb a snake that is attempting to conserve energy in hidden or sheltered spots. Additionally, some snake species seek warmth in unexpected places, such as under car hoods or near heat sources, posing a potential threat to unsuspecting people. 

Cold weather can also affect a snake’s behavior, making it more defensive and prone to striking if it feels threatened. Y’all be careful.

Till next time. Keep your souls and soles in your garden! Remember the True Master Gardener: Jesus said, “I am the vine; my Father is the Gardener.” John 15:1 

“In the Garden” is written by daughter-father gardening team Martelle and Bill Luedecke. If you have gardening questions, contact Martelle at 512-769-3179 or or Bill at 512-577-1463 or