Prepping lawns and gardens for fall

South TEXAS GARDENER

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South TEXAS GARDENER

South TEXAS GARDENER

Q. Now that we are finally getting some rain, what can we do to repair our lawn? It is Bermuda grass — can we reseed the dead areas?

A. It is too late in the growing season to seed Bermuda grass. You may have to wait until May of next year. I also think you are being optimistic about the rain situation. Be patient — Bermuda will fill in quickly if enough rain falls and the temperatures are still mild.

Q. You mention duranta quite often as being a popular nectar source for the pollinators, especially the butterflies. Ours was damaged in the February 2021 freeze and has partially recovered, but not to the point that it is blooming. Any ideas?

A. What you describe is a common situation. Part of the problem is that the heat and drought have slowed the recovery. Try to encourage some growth this fall by soaking the duranta plants at their base. With water every week for a while, they may still respond this fall, but probably will only fully recover next growing season.

Q. What are some plants that we can grow in an area where the deer frequent?

A. Texas mountain laurel, viburnum, vitex, thryallis, poinciana, fouro clocks, vinca, angelonia, iris, yaupon holly, esperanza, milkweed, mint marigold, and yucca.

Q. My favorite nursery says that Amaze and XL are no longer available as pre-emergent herbicides. Is it true, and do you have any other products to recommend that will work as well as they did to prevent winter weeds in the lawn?

A. Review the label of the new product, Crew, and also the product Dimension. They supposedly are as effective as Amaze and XL at preventing both grassy and broadleaf winter weeds in the winter lawn.

Q. What is the advantage of using a winterizer fertilizer on the lawn this autumn?

A. Winterizer fertilizer has a fast-release nitrogen source and high levels of nutrients. A common formula is 18-6-12. When applied on or about October 1, the lawn has changed its growth mode and is able to use the nutrients to enhance the lawn’s ability to survive cold weather. The nitrogen is also stored for the spring green-up, rather than being used for immediate growth.

Calvin Finch is a retired Texas A&M horticulturist. Hear him on “Gardening South Texas” on KLUP 930 AM radio Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 2 p.m. Or, email him at reader@wcn-online.com.