Laurie Garretson: Gardening chores you can work on now
By Laurie Garretson
Feb. 1, 2018 at 10:50 p.m.
Updated Feb. 2, 2018 at 1 a.m.
It's already February, and that usually means lots of gardening chores to be done.
But, this year things are different. The weather has been so unpredictable that it's hard to know just what to take a chance on. To plant or not to plant? To trust the weather forecast or not?
Despite so many, cold, damp, cloudy days there are still many garden chores we can work on.
Since temperatures are still cool, it's a great time to put compost, along with some organic fertilizer, on your lawn, flowerbeds and vegetable gardens. Just a quarter of an inch of compost spread over your lawn, along with some organic fertilizer, will help to form strong, healthy root systems.
Compost and fertilizer can help to revitalize your entire landscape.
At the first sign of consistent sunny, warm weather, weeds of all kinds are going to start popping up, especially in areas with bare soil. This will be the time to put out corn gluten meal for spring weed control.
Timing is critical. Corn gluten meal needs to be on the soil as seeds begin to germinate. Corn gluten meal will stop all seeds from sprouting but will not hurt any existing vegetation.
For existing weeds, use 20 percent vinegar. This natural herbicide can now be applied to weeds in a dormant lawn without hurting the grass.
Be prepared to protect all tender plants, especially new seedlings, from cold weather.
We still could have several more weeks of possibly bad weather, so keep your N-Sulate frost fabric ready to protect tender plants. The great thing about N-Sulate is that it can be left on plants until all bad weather is over.
If you have had problems with ticks or thrips in your landscape, now's the optimal time to apply beneficial nematodes to help eliminate them. They are also good for ant and flea control.
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 email@example.com or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.