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Gardening Q&A


Ask the Master Gardener: March 2011




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Disclaimer:
Guadalupe County Master Gardeners is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.

February 24, 2011 | 2,480 views | Post a comment

Q: When do I apply fertilizer?

A: Doug Welsh, in his Texas Garden Almanac, says to apply after you have mowed the lawn grass twice. This is to show that the grass is actively growing and needs the fertilizer. You might also consider an application of compost to your yard. Have you done a soil test? Forms and directions are available from your county AgriLife Extension agent.

Q: I do not have room for a vegetable garden, but I really want fresh vegetables. What can I do?

A: Buy some large pots or tubs (with drainage holes). These can be placed where they will get 6 to 8 hours of sun a day. Even if you only have room for one pot, you can have a tomato plant. Cherry tomatoes or Juliet tomatoes are especially nice. I have several smaller pots on my patio this spring. One has pineapple mint and the other has rosemary. They are close enough to the kitchen that I don’t even have to walk down the hill to my garden. I do have a suggestion that I have learned through trial and error. Place the pots on something that weeds cannot come through. I had a terrible time with my potted blueberry plants eradicating the Bermuda grass that came in through the drainage holes.

Q: I would like to get my grandchildren interested in gardening. How do I go about this?

A: If you already have a garden, you have a great opportunity. Let them plant a row of carrots. Every time they come over, they will run out and check to see how big they are. This past weekend I bought a six pack of tomatoes. When the grandchildren came, they helped me find one gallon pots, than helped fill the pots with soil. Finally, we took each tomato and put it in a pot, than the kids filled soil in around the plant. They then watered each plant (and when they left my house, they took a pot home with them.) My pots will go into the ground when I am sure freezing weather is over. Until then they are sitting in the sun growing, or covered on the porch when there is a freeze. This past year, my grandson planted a corn seed in one of my porch pots. It sprouted and eventually made a very small ear of corn. He was perfectly thrilled and checked it every time he came to visit.

Q: Can I prune now?

A: I have started, but remember that a late freeze may nip the new growth on your plants. Some plants can be taken back to the ground. My hamelia (Firebush) usually sprouts fairly late so it is perfectly safe to prune now. I have started on my rose bushes, but it usually takes me a long time to finish pruning.

Clara Mae Marcotte is a Texas Master Gardener with the Texas AgriLife Extension. If you have a question to be answered, call the Master Gardeners at 830-379-1972 or leave a message to be answered. The website is guadalupecountymastergardeners.org. The Master Gardener research library is open Mondays from 8:30 to noon, on the second floor of the Texas AgriLife Extension building, 210 East Live Oak in Seguin.
 
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