Monday, January 15, 2018

Resolutions For The Gardener

Horticulture Hotline  1/15/18
  Bill Lamson-Scribner

The snow event kind of threw me off a week. Here are a few New Year’s Resolutions for the Gardener:

Go through all of the old products you have in your garage and identify why you purchased them to begin with and if they are products that still can be used.  This will save you money and make room for new and improved products.

In an effort to conserve water, it is time to get that hose that leaks at the faucet, a new gasket. Check your irrigation. Are all the zones necessary or can you turn some off? Are the heads spraying the way they were intended to spray?  Also use wetting agents this year.  Wetting agents have been shown to save approximately 30-60% of water consumption for a yard.  This would be a huge savings on your water bill.  By watering less, you will have less fungus problems and save money by not having to buy as much fungicides or water. 

In 2018 try to remove fertilizer and other control products from hard surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, pool decks, and streets before these products are washed into the storm water.  This will help protect the beautiful area in which we live.  Since a lot of storm water ends up in our marshes and waterways, this will also help protect our natural resources that we use for recreation, food, and jobs. 

Buy a 100 pack of disposable nitrile gloves.  These things are great!  You can use them when handling control products and fertilizers, when changing the oil in your lawn mower, while taking down your Christmas tree to keep sap off of your hands, while painting or taking out the trash, cleaning and yard work….  These gloves are very inexpensive and can save you lots of hot water while trying to remove things from your hands.  These gloves are also good at keeping the human scent away from mole, mice and rat bait.

In 2018, add organic matter to your lawn and beds.  Organic matter will also help you lower your water bill while adding many other benefits to your soil.  Cotton Burr compost has been improving Lowcountry soils with great results for the past 15 years. 

In order to combat weeds, plan to put out preemergents in your lawns and beds according to product label.  This will make your life a lot less stressful and your yard will be looking a lot better without weeds.  If time is a big issue, consider buying a years supply of product now, so you will have the product handy when it is time to apply. 

In 2018, always apply product according to the label’s directions.  No more “If one ounce is good….two ounces will be real good”.  This will also save you money and get you better results from the products - not to mention the product label is a Federal Law. 

For those pet owners out there whose animals have a history of flea problems, be proactive by applying growth regulators.  Ultracide, Nylar, or Precor applied every three months, should keep your pet free of fleas. 

Always mow the grass with a sharp mower blade and prune the bushes with sharp pruning blades.  You will have cleaner cuts and less chance of disease. With all the cold damage there will be a lot of pruning.

Read a good book about gardening.  Reading is how we learn and it will motivate you as a bonus. 

Happy New Year!

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