Monday, September 19, 2011

Things to Consider

For the new readers of the Horticulture Hotline, my To Do Lists are designed to help you target a few activities in your yard and in your home that will benefit you in the future. These lists are not designed to interfere with high school, college, or professional football games, sunset boating, shrimping, hunting, golfing, eating chicken wings at a local sports bar, oyster roasts, collecting oysters or clams from the local waters, or watching NASCAR on the couch with closed eyes! This is not designed to be a “honey do” list.

Do you have your preemergent product of choice on your lawn or in your beds? Prevent winter weeds now, so you will not have to fight them all winter and spring, taking time away from above activities.

Have you prepared your turf for the winter? With our fluctuating temperatures winter kill can be very devastating in this area. One day the temperature maybe 80 degrees and that night it could be in the 20’s. Centipede is particularly susceptible to winter kill. Manage your thatch levels, cut the grass at the right height for the species of grass (on the low end so the leaf blades do not trap the cold air around the crown of the grass plant), and correct any drainage issues (wet, low areas tend to winter kill the worst.)

Are you changing out flower beds for winter color? Be sure to till in plenty of Back To Nature’s Flower Bed Amendment. Flower Bed Amendment will add cotton burr compost, composted cattle manure, feather meal, cottonseed meal, and alfalfa meal to your soil. Talk about some good organic matter! Many gardeners in the Lowcountry swear by it (in a good way) and would not consider planting without it.

Have you thought about planting bulbs this fall for spring color? Now is the time to get your orders in. Early blooming bulbs are always a welcome sight after a long cold (?) Lowcountry winter. When planting bulbs, remember to add a little Flower Bed Amendment, bone meal, and/or 04-04-04 Sustane to the hole.

Do you plant ryegrass for that green grass all year? Be sure to check the amount of weed seeds listed on the seed tag, so you are not sowing more than you bargained for. If you put a preemergent herbicide in your beds just prior to seeding with rye, you can avoid unwanted ryegrass strangling your shrubs. Have you ever considered green paint as an alternative to ryegrass?

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.