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).
This Saturday is the start of the fall GardenLine appearance season, and it's also time for the fall portion of my fertilization schedules. (If you're new to GardenLine or have never heard about my schedules, CLICK HERE.)
I haven't been on the air for the past two weekends because of a trip to China, and while I was away my email inbox filled up with questions about autumn fertilizing. I guess the good news is that most of the questions indicated the senders knew that time is upon us. Many of the inquiries were about the order to apply the products.
So, during this "winterization" time of year, is the order important at all? Yes, and no!
Don't you love it when I clear things up like that?
On one hand, it really doesn't matter. One the other hand, if you want to trust turfgrass researchers and fertilizer experts, the proper order is:
2. Winterizer fertilizer
3. Pre-emergent herbicide.
I believe in that order and feel you should spread them out over two weeks. Put down the fungicide treatment today (if you haven't already), do the winterizer fertilizer next week, and the pre-emergent herbicide in two weeks. But I say the order doesn't really matter because some very busy people have to do all three treatments on the same day or within a couple of days of each other. I also say it doesn't matter because I don't want you to get lazy and not do the treatments at all.
Don't feel bad if you have to do all three treatments on the same day, the same weekend, or in a single week. However, whatever you do, don't put off the fungicide treatment too much longer if your lawn is prone to brown patch.
Also, your application window (between now and November 1) is way smaller than the windows for spring and summer. Instead of eight weeks to get it done, we have only six in the fall. So, don't put it off much longer. It's important to have your pre-emergent herbicide down by the first of November. There are less than two weeks left in September and only four weeks in October.
But here's some good news: We kick off the fall GardenLine appearance schedule 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Keyworth's Hardware in Dickinson. During our visit, the first 200 people who show up will get a free barbecue slider sandwich.
Next Saturday, we'll be at M&D Supply in Beaumont.
Because Nitro-Phos is sponsoring both events, that means we will be giving away lots of their products. Even if you aren't one of the lucky ones to go home with a free bag of Nitro-Phos Fall Special, their winterizer, both locations will be selling such products at wonderful discounts.
Whenever you find bags of fertilizers or pre-emergent herbicides on sale, you should stock up for next year's treatments, too. With the price of petroleum so high, the cost of transportation is up, so you can be certain the price for bags of fertilizer will rise too. And since most fertilizer has a shelf life of 1-1½ years, you can buy for next year without worry that it will "go bad." In fact, if you're fortunate enough to find bags of slow release 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 fertilizers somewhere, you can even stock up on those for the 2014 spring and summer fertilizations. Just don't go beyond one extra season when stocking up on fertilizer.
During these events, you'll have a chance for me and the Nitro-Phos fertilizer experts to "get a pair of eyes" on samples of any problems you may have. While these are not working nurseries, they're great places to buy every product on my schedule to control insects or diseases. So, while we may not be able to put a hibiscus in your hands this Saturday at Keyworth's, we can certainly feed it and treat it for problems.
Keyworth's Hardware is at 2208 FM 517, less than two miles east of Interstate 45 and about a mile west of Highway 3. So, if you're in League City, Santa Fe, Dickinson, Texas City or Friendswood, and have been asking that I drop by your part of town ... well, here I come!!!