Monday, February 8, 2016
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Agriculture Today


Replace grass with groundcover?




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South Texas Gardener
August 27, 2014 | 4,163 views | Post a comment

Q. Our water bill is getting out of hand, and we are tired of mowing the lawn. Remind us which groundcovers are good options to replace grass. We have both sun and shade.

A. Asiatic jasmine, dwarf ruellia, spreading lantana, prostrate juniper, and prostrate rosemary are all good choices for full sun. Asiatic jasmine and dwarf ruellia also work in the shade along with liriope, monkey grass, and English ivy. For taller groundcover, use iris and daylilies in the sun and Turk’s cap and shrimp plant in the shade.

Other options to replace lawn grass are mulch, flagstone, and brick without mortar. Plant perennials and shrubs into the mulch as your workload and budget allow.

Q. We saw a beautiful vine with orange trumpet creeper blooms at a neighbor’s house. We asked him what it was, and he said it was a dwarf Chinese trumpet creeper. Is there any place you can purchase these plants?

A. Dwarf trumpet creeper is a superior landscape plant. The tangerine colored flowers are beautiful, and it does not take over the neighborhood like regular trumpet creeper. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to propagate and is not readily available from any sources that I know of.

See if you can harvest a root sprout with a piece of root from your neighbor’s plant. Sometimes they also produce seed, but I don’t know if they come true from the seed.

Q. Is it time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent winter weeds? Which one is the best?

A. There are pre-emergent herbicides that work best on grass-like weeds and broad-leafed weeds. Because of its combination of chemicals, Amaze does a good job on both.

Q. When should we prune the roses for the fall? How much can we cut off?

A. Anytime between now and early September works well for preparing roses for the fall flush of bloom. Remove broken and diseased stems, and try to open up the middle of the plant by removing inward growing stems. Only reduce height by one third or less. Begin your pesticide spray program and fertilize with slow release lawn fertilizer.

Q. Can we plant green beans, squash, cucumbers, and sweet corn by seed now?

A. Yes. Plant the warm weather vegetables by seed in late August or early September. Plant the cool weather vegetables after mid-September.
 

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