How to help your yard recover

Fifty or so inches of rain in just a few days is enough to turn any lawn into a soggy mess. And if poor drainage has left puddles where there ought to be tufts of grass, you might just have a new outdoor project on your hands.
Never mind that grass isn’t meant to live under water for days on end. It’s also not meant to be a filter for all kinds of toxins – hydrocarbon contamination or even sewage – that floated in with floodwaters.
Zach Buchanan, operations manager at Buchanan’s Native Plants, said Hurricane Harvey’s heavy rains and floodwaters will stress virtually every lawn and landscape. How they react to that stress will vary.
So keep an eye on your yard, document when changes happen and how quickly they spread. …read more

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After Hurricane Harvey cleanup, it’s time to let your garden dry out

As the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey subside, you don’t have rush to fix things in your yard or garden.
An initial cleanup should involve removing debris and fallen branches; you don’t want detrimental fungi from rotting debris to spread to healthy plants. After that, plants just need a good rinse, said Angela Chandler, author of the Garden Academy blog and consultant to Urban Harvest.
“It sounds counter-intuitive but, really, things just need to be washed off. As quickly as you can, rinse your garden off with plain water,” she said. Any mud or dirt left behind on plants will reduce photosynthesis; they need sunlight for their own natural recovery.
The most basic problem right now is the amount of oxygen in our soil. …read more

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Garden Conservancy tour takes you into four private gardens

If you need garden or landscaping ideas, or just an afternoon passing through some pretty gardens, try the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Tour in Houston on March 25. Not only will you soak up some nature, you’ll be donating to a good cause: Peckerwood Garden. And Peckerwood’s annual sale of unusual plants will be held at the Habitat House in Spring Branch.

…read more

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Tips for keeping Mexican petunias, nutgrass in check

Could you tell me how to kill the roots of Mexican petunias?

[...] I also find both the tall and compact forms extremely vigorous.

Without a gardener’s watchful eye, these prolific reseeding, root-expanding perennials quickly can outgrow their welcome in the landscape.

If you’re weary of digging up this pest, organic gardeners, including the Dirt Doctor Howard Garrett, recommend molasses to control nutgrass.

Drench troublesome areas with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of liquid horticultural molasses per gallon of water.

The shrubs are more than 5 years old, and I keep them trimmed like a hedge along the backyard (full sun) flower beds.

Is it possible these shrubs have only a few years that we would enjoy those beautiful blooms and they stop after a certain number of years?

Loropetalum sets buds in summer that become late-winter to early-spring blooms. …read more

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Bananas plentiful after mild winters

Bananas plentiful after mild winters

[...] the past two winters have been mild, and gardeners report their plants have an abundance of bananas.

Let the fruit remain until the ridges on the bananas begin to round off and there is a hint of yellow.

There are various herbicides that can help, including the organic Agralawn Crabgrass Killer and chemical products such as GreenLight Wipeout and Fertilome Weed Out.

[...] try to encourage a healthy St. Augustine lawn with proper mowing, watering and fertilizing. …read more

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