Gardening with Laurie: Get started on your spring gardening chores
If you haven't started tending to any of your spring gardening, now is definitely the time to do so. In a few weeks, summer will be here, and we all know it is much nicer to be working in the yard now than it will be in a few weeks.
If you haven't fed your lawn in several months, now is a good time to get it done. Adding organic nutrients to the soil by fertilizing is critical if you want a healthy, lush lawn.
On the other hand, if you don't care to feed the lawn, it probably won't mean it's life or death, although many lawns have had some problems that were mostly caused from drought. In those cases, fertilization is highly suggested.
Many azalea shrubs have finished or are about finished with their spring blooming cycle by now. After they have bloomed is the time to give them a trim and to feed them. Fertilize azaleas and any other acid loving plants with cottonseed meal and some of your Rose-Glo fertilizer.
If you're wanting to fill in some dead spots in your lawn with new sod, this is a great time to do so. The temperatures have warmed up enough to cause any new sod to send out new roots and quickly get established.
Whether planting lawn grasses by plugs, seed, solid squares of grass or sprigs, all types can be planted at this time. Any form of new grass will need daily watering the first seven to 10 days after being planted to get established.
April is a good time to treat all plants that appear to be chlorotic. A chlorotic plant means that the foliage on the plant is yellow in color with the veins showing a green color. Greensand can help remedy this problem. Greensand is a natural product that is mined from ancient sea floor deposits.
It has been used as a fertilizer since the 1700s. Greensand is a wonderful, natural source of iron and potassium. Applied at the rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet, it will help to green up any type of plant.
It will also help loosen up compacted soils and hold in moisture in sandy soils. In other words, it's great for all soil types and all types of plants. It is easily applied and does not need to be watered after applying.
More and more problems are being reported about several types of garden pest. It is always easier to get rid of pests before you have an infestation. Try to inspect your gardens on a regular basis.
At the first sign of trouble, take the appropriate action to correct the problem, whether it be bad insects or diseases. When in doubt what to do about the problem, seek help from someone that knows.
Until next time, let's try to garden with nature and not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.
Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.