You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Skip the fillers, opt for 100 percent compost
Q. Why do you recommend we use compost for lawn top dressing rather than commercial top dressing?
A. Top dressing usually includes sand with the compost. Compost is the active ingredient and sand is the “filler.” They usually cost about the same so you should have 100 percent active ingredient.
Q. We want our lawn to green up fast this spring. When can we fertilize?
A. Lawn green-up is mostly determined by the weather with the help of nutrients that were collected and stored last fall. The fall fertilization has more influence on spring green-up than the spring fertilizer.
As much as you want to rush your lawn green up this spring, it does not do any good to fertilize the lawn early. Our hot weather grasses can only take up the nitrogen from fertilizer after they have an active top growth. Wait to fertilize your lawn until you have mowed real grass two times.
Q. Which is the fastest growing oak species?
A. In our area it seems to be a close competition between Texas red oak and Mexican white oak. Texas red oak often has good fall color but it is deciduous and has some susceptibility to oak wilt. Mexican white oak is evergreen and resistant to oak wilt. Both species produce a high quality, long-lived, drought-tolerant shade tree.
Q. We want to grow our own tomato seedlings this year. When should we start them?
A. Tomatoes are started about six weeks before we plant them in the garden. February 15 is a good date for an April 1 planting.
Q. We have several different species of birds at our thistle feeder. How do we tell the difference between lesser goldfinches and American goldfinches?
A. The male lesser goldfinches do not lose their gold and black colors. If you see a gold and black bird, it is a male lesser goldfinch. The females are just as small and slim. If they are plumper, larger, dull-colored goldfinch-like birds left, they are American goldfinches. Size and color are the way to tell them apart.
Q. My roses still have leaves. Should I worry?
A. No, they may fall en masse later this month if there is another cold spell. Sometimes the old leaves are just pushed off by the new leaves if the winter is mild. Plan to prune the hybrid tea roses sometime after Valentine’s Day.
Calvin Finch is a horticulturist and the director of the Water Conservation and Technology Center at Texas A&M-San Antonio. Hear him on “Gardening South Texas” on KLUP 930 AM radio Saturdays noon to 2 p.m., and 1-3 p.m. Sundays. Or, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Bull Classic Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Davidson: Reduce antibiotic use, dispel beef myths (November 25, 2015)
EPA proposes changes to pesticide applicator rules (November 25, 2015)
Farm Bureau responds to beef cancer claims (November 25, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 25, 2015)
Livestock disaster funding available (November 25, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 25, 2015)
Llama competitors shine in state, national shows (November 25, 2015)
Plan to attend grazing lands conference (November 25, 2015)
Plant cool weather veggies (November 25, 2015)
Rancher’s Choice bull sale Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Skills team places sixth (November 25, 2015)
TPWD announces annual trout stocking (November 25, 2015)
All Breed Bull Sale Nov. 21 in Nixon (November 18, 2015)
Clean Water Rule continues to make waves in Congress (November 18, 2015)
Conservation Service: Tips for planting winter pastures (November 18, 2015)
County committee elections begin (November 18, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 18, 2015)
Here’s the beef: Patterson wins FFA national title (November 18, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 18, 2015)
Moczygemba: Angus group CEO (November 18, 2015)
Onion recommendations (November 18, 2015)
A river runs through it: River changes spark border dispute (November 11, 2015)
Cold-sensitive oriental hibiscus (November 11, 2015)
Gov. Abbott: EPA’s Clean Power Plan is ‘power grab’ (November 11, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 11, 2015)
Knowles winner of mule deer hunt package (November 11, 2015)
Letter: A war on Texas: Bureau of Land Management vs. Texas ranchers (November 11, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 11, 2015)
Palo Alto College hosts FFA leadership conference (November 11, 2015)
Rodeo athletes place in Hallettsville contest (November 11, 2015)
‘Old Iron’ club show canceled! (November 11, 2015)
Antique Farm Equipment Demonstration and Field Day, Nov. 14 (November 4, 2015)
Cattlemen’s seminar Nov. 14 in Kosciusko (November 4, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 4, 2015)
Impacts of rural land loss (November 4, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 4, 2015)
Rain can be blessing, curse for farmers (November 4, 2015)
Ranch Rodeo fun in Nixon (November 4, 2015)
Ranching event set for Nov. 11 in Panna Maria (November 4, 2015)
Tips for spraying broccoli, cabbage (November 4, 2015)
Wet winter, spring is good news for hunters (November 4, 2015)
November 2015 Gardening Calendar (November 1, 2015)