After the excessive rains and in some cases flood waters, there are going to be a bunch of questions to GardenLine this coming weekend regarding "WHAT NOW?"
For those who are fairly "strict" to the GardenLine Fertilizations Schedule, hopefully you have waited until this week or next to put down the summer application of the slow-release fertilizers. If that's the case, then this email tip is a moot point for you. For those, such as Randy Lemmon, who put it down before all the big rains of June, then the obvious question is "do I need to re-apply?" I'll get to that subject in a moment. First, let's break this into four subject matters worth resolving.
First, let's look at what happens if you had the worst of all these situations, FLOOD WATERS, for more than an hour soaking your lawns and gardens. The simple way to look at fixing this is sort of like a bio-remediation for the lawn. This requires lots and lots of soil activators like Medina. Use it once every two weeks for up to six applications and break down the bad things that might be hurting the soil. Then, specifically for the lawns, you'll probably have unwanted guests galore in the name of weed seeds. Immediately get a pre-emergent herbicide like Barricade or Dimension down to block any weed seeds from germinating for the next 30-40 days.
Second, what if you just put down your fertilizer before the deluge? Well, if you had 3 or more inches of rain in under 48 hours (I know-who didn't?) then you should consider putting down another application of a winterizer - plain and simple. You should also consider putting it down at half the strength (spread rate) than you did the time before.
Thirdly, what if you put down pre-emergent herbicide in the past week or so? The same rule sort of applies -- if you got 3 or more inches of rain in less than 48 hours (or flood waters, as noted earlier) then it may be worth another application of pre-emergence. This can be put down at full strength, per the spread rate.
Lastly, what about brown patch controls? All this moisture and some recent 60 degree lows thanks to a cool front just gives more ammo to the brown patch spores. Even if you treated in the past 30 days, if you feel like you've gotten a lot of rain (Again, I know - who didn't?) It certainly wouldn't hurt to put down at least one more layer of Brownpatch control. Don't put anything down unless you're certain you are seeing tell-tale signs. For more info, check the Brown Patch control tip sheet.
Just remember, that these are not one-size-fits-all answers. Everyone has different scenarios, such as my own lawn. I put down the fertilizer, per the schedule, a bit earlier than I would like to have because I knew I was going to be on vacation for two weeks. In my situation, I know the fertilizer worked, and didn't get totally washed away for two reasons.
1. It was down at least 7 days before all the rains.
2. My yard is really green right now.
So, am I going to re-apply? Probably! However, I'm only doing it at one-quarter strength, per the application rate.
The point I hope I'm making is that there is not one fool-proof, silver-bullet answer to these questions. Which means, if you need clarification, please give us a call this weekend on the GardenLine.
Be sure to check out Randy's event page to see where else Randy will be for the next few weekends. Bring your plants, bugs, and diseases for identification purpose.
And you can still purchase a copy of my new book
Until our next issue, here's to great gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively weekend mornings 8 a.m.-noon on TALKRADIO 950 KPRC.
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