Gardening with Laurie: Break out the yard tools, get gardening

By Laurie Garretson
April 18, 2013 at midnight
Updated April 17, 2013 at 11:18 p.m.

The month of April is usually considered to be the month to garden. So far, this whole year has been "the time" to garden. In general, our weather has been very mild, with just a few nights of low temperatures.

But all good things can come to an end, at least for awhile, and soon, our temperatures will prevent us from enjoying gardening outdoors. Start now to get as many of your garden chores finished.

Keep a watch on any tender, new growth on woody plants. This is where you could discover aphids. These little pests are fond of this material and can do damage if not treated.

A strong blast from the garden hose can help to remove them or spray the aphids with some insecticidal soap sprays. Whichever method you use, try to spray both sides of the leaves.

If you are interested in growing a more drought-tolerant lawn grass and have a sunny area to grow it in, then perhaps you would be happy with a Bermuda lawn. Now is the time to seed this lawn grass.

With all the benefits that Bermuda grass can offer keep in mind that Bermuda is a spreader, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. If there are any planting beds in the lawn area you will want to have some type of edging material to help discourage the Bermuda from making its way into the beds.

Now is the time to get all lawns, beds and trees fertilized with your favorite natural fertilizer. Healthy plants will be better able to withstand the harsh summer conditions ahead. Don't put it off any longer summer will be here soon.

Unfortunately, so many of us don't have healthy soils that can supply plants with all the needed nutrients. Fertilizing is very important to all plant life if you really want them to grow well and thrive. Fertilizers will provide most of the chemical elements that are missing from your soils.

This has been an exceptionally beautiful season for roses. I've seen so many beautiful rose bushes just full of blooms. Make sure to water your established roses at least once every five to six days. Healthy roses can tolerate drought conditions, but they will grow and bloom better if the soil around their roots can be kept lightly moist, not soggy.

Until next time, let's try to garden with nature, 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 or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.



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