Spring is sprung and your grass is growing. Now is a perfect time to talk about how to make your grass healthy now and later. I am sure you noticed weeds in your lawn in February and March. That was a great opportunity to remove all the undesirable weeds in our lawns before the St. Augustine starts to hide them during the warmer months. Now that it has warmed up enough for our St. Augustine Lawns to start growing, it is time to feed (using a good organic fertilizer such as Microlife). The food will help provide the nutrients needed for healthy growth. This is also an excellent time to apply compost to your lawn. A high quality compost is one of the most beneficial treatments that you can do for your lawn; it adds nutrients, food, minerals, and biology that will not just benefit now, but also over the next 12 to 18 months. Don't be afraid to add other soil amenities a needed such as minerals (a good mineral source like green sand or lava sand), Humates, Dry Molasses, etcetera. Proper use of these products will help yield a thick, lush, green lawn with dense growth that will help push out the unwanted weeds. Make sure to include a proper watering schedule for the season. Over watering will lead to nutrient and mineral leaching as well as fungal problems and biology problems. Under watering will leave your grass lagging behind the growth of your neighbors yards and enable weeds to continue to damage your beautiful lawn. Enjoy your lawn in a nice rocking chair, or throwing a ball, Croquet, or just playing with the family pet. Summer is almost here and we'll have a whole new set of needs with the increasing temperatures
The end of summer is sneaking up on us and school is almost back in session. As temperatures begin to cool, don't forget to adjust irrigation for the fall and feed your lawn and bed areas. Below is a short checklist for fall landscaping work.
* Adjust Sprinklers for Fall settings
* Feed Lawn and Gardens
* Fall Seasonal Planting
* Winter Rye Seed application
* Halloween Decorations
* Thanksgiving Decorations
* Christmas Decorations
* Winter Mulching
The holiday season comes fast and we are happy to help you with any of your outdoor needs.
This time of year is a lot of fun in a landscape. Our ornamental flowering fruit trees are coming into bloom, Japanese Maples and other deciduous trees are getting ready to sprout new foliage. It is almost time for spring color, and the spring blooms are about to pop! With the coming of Spring, there are several things that we should do to prepare our landscapes for the spring.
(1) Pruning: Trim, shape, and detail prune your plantings. Most of our plants can be pruned at this point. We want to be cautious not to prune too soon. The timing of pruning is determined by the weather (ideally we want to prune after the last freeze). Valentine's day is the historically safe day in Houston to prune Roses, Crape Myrtles and many other plantings. Your landscape staple plantings (Ligustrum, Wax Myrtles, Hollies, Yaupon, Boxwood, etc.) should be pruned and shaped at this point. Prune back ground covers as desired as well. Pinch back any Impatiens, Begonias, and other seasonal color that made it through the winter. Be sure NOT to prune any plantings that are about to bloom such as many Azalea varieties including the Indica Azaleas until after they have completed the majority of their bloom cycle.
(2) Feeding: It is also time to feed most of your plantings. Timing of the feeding depends on the product that you use. We recommend a high quality organic fertilizer such as one of the Microlife Fertilizers. Microlife can be used on all of your landscape beds (including Azaleas) at this time. Wait on feeding your lawn until the weather warms a bit more (typically late March or early April).
(3) Weeding: weeding and cleaning your beds at this time will make your bed maintenance much easier as you get into the warmer Spring months. You can follow up your weeding with a weed preventative such as Corn Gluten Meal to reduce weed seed germination and further reduce your spring weed problems. The Corn Gluten Meal can also be installed in your lawns at this time to help reduce weeds in the lawn.
(4) Mulching: you should still have a good layer of a high quality Native Hardwood Mulch (such as Nature's Way Resources), Pine Straw, Cedar Mulch, or layer of Leaf Matter from your own yard. It is, however, still a good idea to touch up your mulch with a fresh layer as needed to ensure a steady supply of nutrients (and humic and fulvic acids that leach into the soil from mulch and help improve the soil). The mulch also helps to keep your soil temperatures more even, reduce weeds, and it just looks nice too!!!
Remember, Valentine's day is just around the corner, and not only will your wife appreciate a beautiful, well kept yard, but it will make your life easier as you get into spring and summer!
Let's examine some of the winter blooming plants
that we can add to our gardens to create that "Fall Festive Feeling!"
PANSIES - They do not perform well in hot, muggy weather. Pansies are generally hardy plants and will survive freezing temperatures even during their blooming season. Plants grow well in sunny or partially sunny positions in well-draining soils.
SWEET ALYSSUM - Although in many parts of the country this is a good spring and summer flower, in Houston, it is a perfect fall and winter color. It requires little maintenance and has a light sweet smell.
PHLOX - Some flower in spring, others in summer and autumn. Flowers may be pale blue, violet, pink, bright red, or white. Many are fragrant and have the ability to attracted butterflies.
PRIMULA - There are a variety of different types of primrose, primula is well suited for winters in Houston. They are very ornamental and come in a variety of purple, yellow, red, pink, or white.
KALE - There are many varieties of kale, they are referred to as "flowering kales" and have beautiful ornamental leaves, which are brilliant white, red, pink, lavender, blue or violet in the interior or the rosette. Ornamental kale is as edible as any other variety, provided it has not been treated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals.
DUSTY MILLER - Dusty miller is a favorite because it looks good with everything. The silvery-white color is a great foil for any type of garden blossom and the fine-textured foliage creates a beautiful contrast against other plants in the fall. Again due to Houston weather it does really good in this type of climate. It is grown in most areas of the United States, as it prefers warm, dry summers and moist, cool winters.
SNAP DRAGONS - There are regular and dwarf snap dragons. Their large blossom-laden flower heads are faintly fragrant and come in a wide assortment of bright beautiful colors. Snap dragons love Houston's fall and spring weather, and are often a good color to use in the fall because they are known to tolerate frost. Something for fun, try this with your children: Pinch the tiny individual blossoms and make the "dragon mouth" open and close!
John Taylor (Owner)
I have spent the past 15 years of my professional career helping my clients achieve their landscaping goals. Through continued education and research, I have become one of Houston's foremost experts in Organic gardening. I am happy to serve any client whether it be a small project or a large project.