Nursery owner

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner.

I realize that spending much time outdoors these days just isn’t very pleasant. It is hot, and the humidity just makes the outdoors so much more unpleasant. But those of us whow are passionate about our gardens and lawns know there are outdoor chores to be done almost every day of the year, even in our very hot summers.

One of the most important outdoor chores this time of year has to be keeping our plants and lawns well-watered. Automatic in-ground sprinkler systems or even soaker hoses can sure help with this job.

Container-grown plants and hanging baskets can require extra attention.

Keep in mind that if a plant has to be watered frequently, as in containers and hanging baskets, it will also need to be fertilized frequently. More watering washes away fertilizers from the soil. If you need to water a plant every day, then it’s a good idea to also apply a liquid fertilizer every other week. Along with liquid feedings, you could also use a dry fertilizer at least once a month. This schedule will provide your container plants with the nutrients they need during this stressful time of the year.

If the weather has your roses looking a bit worn out, lightly prune them and fertilize them to encourage beautiful fall blooms.

When crape myrtles have lost their blooms, cut the dead blooms off to encourage more blooms. Fertilizing will also help encourage more blooms.

Lots of homeowners report about yellowing patches in lawns. Green sand is a great natural mineral source that can help with iron and other mineral deficiencies. If you did not feed your garden and flowerbeds in June with a natural fertilizer, now is a good time to do it.

Fall tomato transplants will soon be arriving in local garden centers. Are your beds ready for them?

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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