Winter Lawn and Plant Care Tips by Jerry Naiser
We apply a soil conditioner and bio-stimulate with micronutrients and a pH correction additive. We also apply pre-emergent weed control products as well as spot treat weeds that were already growing.
Most broadleaf weeds that you see during the winter and spring, such as dandelions, clover and thistle, germinate in the fall. This is the time to apply broadleaf pre-emergent weed control products.
What this will do:
These products will help your soil increase microbial activity which helps breakdown organic matter and thatch. They will also help loosen up the heavy clay soils so prevalent in the Austin area and help correct our ongoing pH issues. We also add extra zinc and magnesium. The lack of these two nutrients, along with a high soil pH will invite “take all patch” to your lawn.
We know that the key to healthy plants is healthy soil.
Brown Patch and Take All Patch
Although Brown patch and Take all Patch are similar at first glance, if you look a little closer you will see that they are completely different problems, with different causes, modes of destruction and cure.
When differentiating between the two diseases, look at the stolen. With brown Patch, the stolen stay healthy therefore the grass will recover quickly. With Take all Patch, the solons also die. Recovery is slower and nutritional suppliants are a must, as well as the application of fungicides and pH monitoring and correction.
Caring for your houseplants
Heating systems cause low humidity that will increase your house plants need for water. Try misting your plants a couple of times a day, and/or grouping them together, placing them on trays of pebbles with water. Be sure to check the moisture levels of the plants more frequently when the heater is running, watering only after the soil completely dries out. This will reduce the chance of fatal soil fungi. Fertilize very little (if at all) during the winter months.
On cold nights (less than 32 F) protect all tender plants outside
It takes only one good freeze to destroy many plants. Be cautious and prepare if you know that temperatures will fall into the low 40’s Cover them or bring them inside. Often times getting them close to the house will do, because of the radiant heat stored and released during the night.
All tender plants should already be protected. Several years ago, I lost two beautiful tangelo trees in my back yard, to a late frost in March. If you have a question or doubt about temperature, please give me a call, or drop me an e-mail, Jerry@realgreenlawns.com
Place your plants where you can enjoy them, but remember that they are alive and have needs too. Ideally they should receive light from a window. Avoid locations near a door or window that a cold draft could stress the plant. Check the soil daily, with your finger, watering only when the soil feels dry. If the pot is covered with decorative foil, be sure to punch some holes in the bottom, to allow the water to drain onto a saucer beneath the pot.
Bugs don’t take the winter off and can spread rapidly in a crowded indoor garden. Spider Mites thrive in the warmth. Watch for pests and treat promptly. Be ready with a pre-mixed house-plant spray. Green Light makes a wonderful parathyroid based product, sold as bug-b-gone. Make sure you coat all the foliage completely, including the adjacent plants.
One more note: I have made some recent changes to the website, so that you may order a free service call, if you have a problem that needs further attention. This is located in the quick Quote page of the website. These service requests will all come across my desk. Please fill in as much detail as you can. Also take a look at the "Real Weather" page. let me know what you think.
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