A Myriad of Topics This Week
Normally, I try to pick one topic to expand upon each week during these email tips, but I couldn't decide on just one for this week. Instead, I have several quick-hit topics. Plus, if there is a topic you would like to see me expand upon, feel free to email me your suggestions.
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.
Weed Influx Is Ike-Related
We start with a topic that came up several times this past weekend, while I as at our GardenLine appearance at Buchanan's in the Heights. Something else courtesy of Hurricane Ike will be an inordinate amount of weeds, especially weeds we normally don't see at this time of the year. As an example I have a neighbor that in two weeks, has a huge crop of Clover. I'm going to break this down into two "control" steps. These are two steps that we talk about all the time, but that we putting into play earlier-than-normal.
First, while there are a couple of COOL SEASON HERBICIDES that we often get to use in November through February. It's just that it's still not officially cool enough to use those herbicides with our day time high temperatures still in the 80s. So, if your yard is otherwise healthy with just a couple of new weeds here and there, and you can wait a few more weeks, then by all means wait to apply the COOL SEASON HERBICIDES at the right time. To learn more about the right temperatures and times for these temperature-specific herbicides, please read a tip sheet we've done in the past on the topic. But the names of the two products that are readily available are Fertilome Weed Free Zone and Bonide Weed Beater Ultra.
If you think you simply can't wait, because of that inordinate amount of weeds in the turf area right now, then you can still use the typical BROAD LEAF WEED killers that we normally talk about in the spring and summer. With the high temperatures still hovering in the 80s, the typical herbicides we use in the warmer temperatures are GreenLight Wipeout, Fertilome Weed Out and Bonide Weed Beater for Southern Lawns.
In both cases (in either case, if you will) the key to success is still adding a Surfactant to the mix. If you still are unaware of what a surfactant is, or its importance to our weed control, then please read the tip sheet we've written about that subject in the past as well.
Finally, don't forget about putting down Pre-Emergent Herbicides as we normally do in October anyway. Obviously, they aren't going to do anything about the weeds that are already up, but if the early weed influx is any indication, this is going to be a really bad Fall and Winter weed cycle. If you are unfamiliar with the Pre-Emergent Herbicide idea, then please read my Fertilization Schedule Tip Sheet.
I Can Speak to Your Holiday Gathering
This weekend, I casually threw out this question: "Other than the obvious Garden Club for a specific community, what group asks me to speak at their gatherings more than any other?" Many people tried to answer via emails, but no one got close. The answer is "statistically speaking" I get more requests from Aggie Mom's Clubs.
Whether you're in charge of getting speakers for a Garden Club, Homeowner's Association Meeting, or anything like an Aggie Mom's Club, if you would like me to speak to your group, just send me an email.
It's not too late to book me for holiday meetings/gatherings (considering that I usually bring my book Gulf Coast Gardening with Randy Lemmon) it makes for the easiest cheapest gift-giving idea of its kind. Think about it: A signed copy of my book for that special someone who either listens to GardenLine or who you know needs all the help GardenLine can give. Yes, there are many dates already booked, but if you don't ask, you'll never know. There is usually a speaker's fee involved, but it is negotiable based on the number of people you expect at the event.
Consan is Still King
In the wake of Hurricane Ike recovery, there is still nothing better than Consan Triple Action 20 when it comes to mold and mildew remediation. And if you've listened to the radio show at all over the last three to four weekends, you know how well it works for Refrigerator/Freezer Clean Out. The main question I got this weekend, again while at Buchanan's, was "but isn't Clorox Cheaper?" Yes, but Consan doesn't have a "bleach" smell. And it does so much more.
You can use Consan for many other things, like fungal disease control on plants and in the lawn, as well as algae control on sides of houses and landscape stone. Bleach-type products, while they do mold and mildew control, don't help with plant life one bit.
Many trees, post Ike, have broken limbs here and there, and ragged branches dangling from the tree. This has led to a preponderance of pruning questions. While it is not officially time to do the major pruning of trees, it's so close that if you hire a tree company to do the clean-up pruning needed now, you might as well have them to the major pruning job as well. I normally encourage major pruning to begin around Halloween. The catch is getting a tree company to come do pruning outside of all the big storm removal projects still in demand. My best advice is to go ahead and book work for November, while they are still slammed through October.
Speaking of pruning, many shrubs got beat up courtesy of Ike as well. Other than Oleanders, Azaleas, Hydrangeas and Gardenias, there are very few exceptions in the pruning department following a storm. In other words, if it is known to develop blooming wood in the winter and early spring, than prune only those limbs that are obviously broken. For most all other plants, an across-the-top-haircut is certainly in order to clean up the ragged look of many shrubs courtesy of Ike.
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.