Over 1.4 million Houstonians garden for a hobby or pastime, and GardenLine is where they listen for advice and information on gardening and landscaping.
Every Saturday and Sunday morning from 6 to 10, GardenLine's Randy Lemmon answers listeners' questions on everything from aphids to zoysias. He's Houston's absolute expert on lawns and gardens, offering help to listeners both with and without "green thumbs."
Randy's a Texas Aggie who truly KNOWS plants and flowers. He explains them with ease and candor, and is as competent a "plant person" as there is. He studies, and he practices. He embraces "new methods" as well as the "old" ways of dealing with problems. Call for Randy's solution for your question ... 713-212-KTRH (5874).
So, hopefully you weren't affected by that temperature blip on the radar screen last weekend. Now that March is in full swing, we can move forward with confidence, because there's so much to do with our lawns, landscapes and gardens. It's gardening's version of March Madness. Do I fertilize? What do I prune? What do I plant? What do I treat, and what do I treat it with?
It can get a bit crazy, but it shouldn't become debilitating or give you "analysis paralysis" - that point when you're so overwhelmed with information you choose to avoid it all. I don't have enough space in these weekly journal posts to cover everything in one week, so I'll hit some highlights.
You should know that just about every garden center or nursery I talk about on GardenLine is well stocked and ready, willing and able to get you the right products for what needs to be accomplished. So, here's a checklist of things you should be thinking about doing now.
Speaking of redbuds, they are those magnificently blooming purplish-pink small trees that are being seen all over right now ... and the subject of many email questions I've received this week. When people first move to this area and see one for the first time, they immediately want one. But of course, they don't know what it is. So I get lots of emails with pictures attached wanting an identification.
They will have them for sale during my visit to Enchanted Forest 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday. They're on FM 2759, about four miles east of Crab River Road in Richmond. That's actually Booth, Texas, as a friend recently reminded me.
Enchanted Forest will also have a myriad of azalea foods for the redbuds ... something I've recommended for years. Even Nitro-Phos, the sponsors of my visit, makes one and will have it available. Redbuds are tough yet beautiful accent and understory trees, great for smaller spaces. Even if you get one in April after the bloom season is over, you will learn to appreciate versions like the Rising Sun (with the peachy-orange, heart-shaped leaves) that never grow taller than 12-15 feet.
The more standard varieties like Burgundy Hearts give you beautifully colored leaves (Aggies call it maroon) and can reach to just over 20 feet at maturity. There are also weeping varieties that never get bigger than 8-10 feet.
Almost all redbuds are somewhat disease resistant, and they like our Texas heat, But, the fact is that none of them can take getting hammered with all-day sun. They truly like to be protected from west-facing sun and do particularly well as accent trees where filtered light is the norm all day.
In the list above, you'll note that I suggested that we are probably only two or three weeks away from going full-throttle on my fertilization schedule. So, you might as well stock up on fertilizers this weekend. If you find a good deal, get enough for this feeding and the summer fertilization as well, because unopened bags of fertilizer are perfectly fine for over a year in the garage.
Not only will Enchanted Forest have Nitro-Phos Super Turf and Nitro-Phos Sweet Green this weekend, they still have some Nitro-Phos Imperial 15-5-10 for the bona fide early green-up called for in my fertilization schedule. And we'll be giving away bags of all of those products. Just find the "register to win" box while I'm there 11 a.m.-1 p.m. We will be drawing at least every 15 minutes, so as the Chicago political machine will tell you, get there early and vote often - er, uh, I mean register often. You don't have to be present to win, but make sure your cell phone number is on the entry ... we'll call you to come pick up your free bag of Sweet Green, Super Turf, Imperial, Barricade or azalea food.