Gardening in April: Best Practices for Spring
By Walt Crowder, Lawn Ranger Company Inc.
First off, a huge THANK YOU!! Most of our readers are aware that In February of each year, Woodlands Online gives the people in our community the opportunity to select their choice for “The Best Of The Woodlands” in various categories.
THANK YOU to the community, to our friends, and to our many satisfied customers for voting Lawn Ranger Company #1 in the categories of Best Landscaping and also Best Lawn Services again this year.
We are honored and humbled that we have been recognized as “The Best of The Woodlands” for each of the past 9 years: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017. Now 2018.
And THANK YOU to our Team of Employees: Office Staff, Management Staff, and Field Staff for jobs well done. YOU are the ones who have created Lawn Ranger Company’s long list of hundreds of SATISFIED CUSTOMERS, and have built the Company’s long-standing favorable reputation over the past 23 years.
Now, to the business at hand… For those who enjoy working in the lawn and flower gardens, the vacation is over. Our winter has passed! It’s now time to get up and get busy! Start doing some
planning: Are you planning a landscape renovation? Replacing those frozen Tropical plants, Rebuilding some beds? Planting new annuals in the flower gardens? Resodding? Fertilizing?
ANNUAL FLOWERING PLANTS
Although it may be tempting to go for the “bargain,” those flats of cool- weather annuals that are now marked down may not be such a good purchase. Their season is nearing the end. These annuals, such as certain varieties of petunias, probably won’t bloom through the heat this summer. Now would be a good time to start watching for warm-season, heat tolerant plant material.
We fertilize to make the turf grass grow; then we mow it. It’s a vicious cycle. Mowing becomes more frequent this month, though perhaps not as often as will be necessary in another few weeks. See
that your mower blade is sharp, and raise the blade so that no more than 1/3 of the turf grass is removed. For St. Augustine lawns, we set our blades at a minimum of 3” for summer.
Plants are living organisms, and therefore require food and water in order to thrive and grow. Feed now, if you have not already done so. We recommend using a broadcast spreader. Applying by hand or with a drop-spreader may not provide an even and uniform application. Shrubs can be fed with a balanced, slow-release granular fertilizer.
Give the flower and shrub beds a fresh layer of mulch. Shredded Pine Mulch does very well, and should be approximately 3” deep. This will hold moisture around the roots when the temperatures get high, and it will help control weeds.
Deep watering is especially important this time of year if sufficient rain does not fall. For best results, water deeply and thoroughly, but only as needed. Deep watering will encourage perennials to develop a deep root system that will make them stronger and more drought resistant. Pest problems will become more numerous as the weather warms up. Watch for caterpillars and beetles which chew holes in the leaves. Powdery mildew can be treated with a fungus-control aide.
Do not wait for blackspot and powdery mildew to occur before you begin spraying. Begin spraying right away, and continue every seven to ten days through the summer. If you fertilized last month, no additional fertilizer is needed now. If you did not fertilize last month, do so now with a long lasting, slow-release granular 3-1- 2 or 4-1- 2 ratio fertilizer.
You can still plant shrubs from containers. However, if you choose to plant “B & B” shrubs (balled and burlapped), do so in early April. Hot weather is just around the corner and there is little time
remaining for them to make root growth before the heat arrives. Newly planted shrub beds may need to be watered once or twice a week if five to seven days pass without a good rain.
You are invited to send us your questions and comments. We can be contacted at our offices at 281-681-1025, or through our web site: www.LawnRangerCompany.com.
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Voted “BEST OF THE WOODLANDS” 2010-2018