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 "religious" to the GardenLine Fertilization Schedule, you may have heard me mention on the Saturday program, that October 15 is the time to start applying the Winterizers and the Pre-Emergent herbicides. The point, however, was that it was the "jumping off" point, not just the only day. We have, on the calendar, all the way through the first week of November to do all the winterizing techniques per The Schedule. Nevertheless, I was a little hesitant to tell everyone to put it all out that day or even on Sunday, because I was under the impression that a lot of rain was on its way. And boy was it! Hopefully, if you heard my advice on the Sunday program, everyone held off from applying these products. But I do know there are some people that did it anyway on Saturday. If that's the case, then you absolutely have to consider re-applying.
For those, who put these products down over a week ago, you too have to consider re-applying. Then, there are those that have flood waters covering up their lawns, which present a whole host of other problems other than just re-applying the Winterizers and Pre-Emergent Herbicides. We've actually done this before after the June/July rains. Remember, we were right at the time of the summer part of the Fertilization Schedule. So here's a reminder of how all this needs to be broken down 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. If for any reason you got 5 or more inches of rain, then you should consider re-applying at the normal dosage.
Thirdly, what if you put down pre-emergent herbicide in the past week or so? The same rule sort of applies -- if you got three 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 Brownpatch controls? All this moisture and some recent 60 degree lows thanks to a cool front just gives more ammo to the brownpatch 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. In case you need it again, here's the Brownpatch control tip sheet.
Just remember, that these are not one-size-fits-all answers. Everyone has different scenarios, such as my own lawn. That's why it's so important to call the radio show if you need help clarifying your situation. So, don't forget to catch GardenLine on Talkradio 950 KPRC on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to Noon. And the call in number is 713-212-KPRC (5772).
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.
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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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