Gardening in October 2020 in The Woodlands
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Many of our customers and readers who live outside of the metropolitan areas and in the less populated parts of the county have the challenge of keeping deer out of the landscaped areas of their property. Each year at about this time, I spend some time talking about how to cope with the deer population. While there isn’t a more beautiful sight than seeing that new-born fawn frolicking in the yard, it isn’t quite so entertaining to watch them devour those flowering plants like some favorite salad.
I am frequently asked about “deer-proof” and/or “deer-resistant” plant material. While there are very few plants that are actually “deer-proof,” some plant materials do appear to be somewhat “deer-resistant”… depending on how hungry they are.
Our landscapers have had pretty good success with Snap Dragon and Vinca or Periwinkle. Also, deer don’t seem to like Lantana. For a larger size shrub, banana shrub plants seldom become dinner for the deer. However, having said all that, it’s true that if hungry enough, deer will eat most any plant. I have seen them eat rose bushes to the ground!
Texas A&M has published some articles on this subject. Copy this link to your browser for some ideas and suggestions. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/publications/deerbest.html .
BROWN PATCH FUNGUS In the Fall of the year, “brown patch” fungus may appear in lawns with St. Augustine grass. These fungal spores generally become more prolific as we experience increased rainfall and cooler nights. We are already seeing some cases of brown patch fungus in some lawns, the result of recent rains or over-watering from the irrigation systems.
Watch for “yellowing” circles, particularly in low areas that tend to retain moisture. You can treat the disease with fungicide from a garden supply store, or call for professional treatments from our renowned Green Lawn System.
If you had brown patch last year, you will probably have a repeat in the same areas this year – unless you break the cycle with fungicide treatment.
OVERSEEDING We will soon be moving into the dormant season for our warm-weather grasses such as St. Augustine and Bermuda. You can have a beautiful lawn year round by over-seeding with rye grass seed. Here are some points to ponder:
WHEN SHOULD I OVERSEED? You can plant Ryegrass seed in October and November. “Annual Ryegrass” is the least expensive, most readily available, and most commonly used. However, for a higher quality appearance, you may prefer to use “perennial ryegrass, or a “perennial ryegrass blend.” Although it is a bit more expensive, it will last a little longer into the spring.
WILL OVERSEEDING DAMAGE MY TURF? Overseeding will not harm any of the commonly used warm-season grasses. In fact, overseeding tends to help the appearance of the lawn by reducing the growth of cool-season weeds.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES TO OVERSEEDING FOR THE WINTER? Advantages include: A lush, beautiful, green lawn through the winter months; fewer weeds during the dormant season. We like to boast about having “beautiful lawns year-round.”
Disadvantages: Weekly mowing throughout the winter months; additional fertilization is necessary as the ryegrass draws nutrients that the warm-weather grass will need in the spring.
NOTE: Do not mow an overseeded lawn until the seed germinates and green grass blades are visible. And do not apply a pre-emergent herbicide prior to overseeding.
FERTILIZER It is a good idea to apply a late Fall “winterizer” to the turf. This will promote strong root growth during the dormant months, and will help “kick-start” the grass next Spring.
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Lawn Ranger Company’s services include fertilization and weed control, lawn mowing, sprinkler systems, and landscape services. We serve The Woodlands, Montgomery County, and northern Harris County.
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