KTRH GardenLine Newsletter
"WHEN" TO APPLY WHAT & IGNORANT LANDSCAPERS PLANTING MAGNOLIAS TOO CLOSE TO THE FOUNDATION
Oct. 4, 2007 - Issue #37
Here's Randy's Weekly KTRH GardenLine Tip:
GardenLine Profile: Buchanan's Native Plants
This past weekend's radio shows created a firestorm of e-mails on two specific subjects. So, I thought I would take the opportunity in this week's e-mail tip to clarify both topics. Or create a more intense firestorm.
First, was the subject of "when" to put out/put down all the different elements per the fertilization schedule. The "when" in most of the e-mails honed in on the order in which the brownpatch, winterizer and pre-emergence should be put down.
"Can I put them down on the same day?"
"What should I do first?"
"Does the order really matter?"
"When's the last opportunity to put down the winterizer?"
So, based on those questions and many others, here are the important things to remember, not only about the "when" and possibly "what," but also the "can I" and "should I" elements as well.
First, become familiar with my fertilization schedule, which tells you the optimum times to put down those fungal controls, fertilizers and herbicides.
Brownpatch controls should have gone down by now. So, if you still haven't done that you need to get busy today. Here's everything I know about BP from a most recent e-mail tip.
The Pre-Emergent Herbicides should go down at the end of October through the first of November. If you are going out of town for the next three weeks, do it now.
The same holds true for Winterizer fertilizers. We actually have a huge window for application. Do it now if you have the time, but it can be done all the way until the first frost.
If you wait too long to apply the winterizer, (first cold front of temperatures in the 40s) the soil would be too cool and the winterizer would be a waste of money.
Much like the winterizer, you don't want to wait past the first week of November to apply the pre-emergent herbicide. It can be too cool for the herbicide to work in the soil and you simply don't want to wait too long and miss the window when the weed seeds are trying to set up shop. Read more here.
You CANNOT mix all the elements into one spreader. All these "engineer-types" ask if they can put two or three in the spreader at the same time to save time. The answer is: NO!
The preferred order is: Brownpatch Control, Pre-Emergent, Winterizer. But it won't hurt my feelings if it's: Brownpatch Control, Winterizer, Pre-Emergent.
If you did anything this past weekend and got hammered by three or more inches of rain on Monday October 15th, you should consider re-applying. Here are some rules we applied to similar situations after the rains of June-July.
The other email flurry arose from my "Soap Box Tirade" about bone-headed landscapers planting Magnolia Trees and Pine Trees right next to the foundation of new houses/landscapes. Here's the problem again, as I see it. Since there are very few "certified" landscapers out there, all it takes is one idiot to plant a Magnolia tree next to a foundation, and the "domino effect" happens with all the other uneducated ones. "Hmm, that looks good, I think I'll try that."
While a Magnolia in it's baby years may look cool next to a foundation, 10 years (and beyond) from now it will cause serious problem to that foundation. This applies to all trees. You would think that a "landscaper" would understand that any tree shouldn't be planted next to a foundation. But what has happened with the Magnolias being included in landscapes was the introduction of Little Gem Magnolias - a type of dwarf magnolia. Because they don't get near as big as a Southern Magnolia, it made for that stunning look as an accent on the corner of a house's landscape. Again, it was supposed to be a "smaller version" but what uneducated landscapers didn't understand is that it still has the root system of a tree. Also, in so many cases, a Little Gem and a normal size Magnolia often get mislabeled or misidentified when they are both small. So, big Magnolias are often planted on the corner of a landscape because 1. The landscaper is stupid, 2. They thought it was a Little Gem, or 3. The uneducated landscaper is doing what has seen from others, not knowing it has to be a Little Gem.
Even then, "magnolia experts" as well as foundation experts, bristle at the idea of Little Gems planted near a house. Read more here. So, the bottom line should be to find an alternative tree such as a Crape Myrtle with a less invasive root system for an accent tree near the foundation of a house.
As an aside, to keep a Magnolia tree extremely healthy, it should never be pruned. Here's a picture that proves my point:
GardenLine Profile: Buchanan's Native Plants
611 East 11th St. at Oxford
One of the favorite parts of my job is just getting to know the owners/operators of many of the better nurseries and garden centers in the Houston area. And one of the truly nicest people in this business is Donna Buchanan. She had a dream over 20 years ago to create a "native plant nursery" for the Houston area. And while they still do specialize in Texas natives, in a major way, this garden center has expanded into so much more than that in a seemingly short 20 years.
Organic gardeners love this place for a list of reasons too numerous to mention in just this e-mail tip. But suffice it to say, if it is organic you can either find it or order through Buchanan's. As an example, they are only one of a couple of places in Houston that you can get fresh Compost Tea. They call theirs "Soil Soup." The reason very few places even make compost tea is because it has to be used right away (no shelf life). But that shouldn't surprise those that understand how Buchanan's works.
Buchanan's has been serving the Historic Heights since 1986. They are located at 611 East 11th St. at Oxford. While they are known for their hard Texas natives, they have also become a great source for specialty annuals and perennials as well as herbs for landscaping and antique roses. And what a friendly and knowledgeable staff they have at Buchanan's. This is the kind of staff that goes out of their way to answer your questions about plant choices or organic alternatives. And, as is the cases with many of the forward-thinking garden centers in town, they have a tremendous gift shop chock-full of decorative and whimsical gifts, pottery, garden art, statuary and of course so much more.
Here's the best inside secret I can give you regarding Buchanan's: Sign up for their weekly email tip!!! (Ironic, huh?) They have a great weekly missive that is colorful and full of great ideas as well as great deals week in and week out. Just click on the purple and pink box on the left of their main page.
Stop on by and find out why we love Buchanan's here at the GardenLine.
Buchanan's Native Plants
611 East 11th St. at Oxford
Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Until next issue, here's to Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively, 6-10 a.m. Saturdays and 7-10 a.m. Sundays, only on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
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.
GardenLine Listeners and E-mail Tip Subscribers can purchase a copy of my new book at discounted price! Check it out! "Gulf Coast Gardening with Randy Lemmon"
Garden retailers interested in stocking the book, should call the Nitro Phos Warehouse at 713-228-1868 for wholesale ordering information.
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