Top 6 Must Do’s for March!

gillnurseryBest Practices, Timely Tips8 Comments

Its Springtime in Texas and it’s a great time to get out in the garden! Spring is the best time to do a variety of things in order to have garden success throughout the year. Here’s our Top 6 for March: 

Check out our March Garden Guide for more tips and remember that trees, shrubs, and perennials can be planted 12 months out of the year! The only difference is the amount of water they need depending on temperatures & wind!

1. Grow Some Food
  • Gotta plant tomatoes now! Tomatoes like warm days & need cool nights. 
  • Most varieties need at least 65-75 days to have mature fruit. That puts it into May and temps are on the rise. 
  • There’s plenty of other food to plant now. Peppers, Squash, Basil, Okra, Beans, Melons, Eggplant just to name a few.
2. Water Right
  • Thoroughly & deep is the best way, not a little every day. Your soil is a reservoir of moisture for plants & lawns. Keep it hydrated properly, it will save you a bundle of $ & time. 
  • Pro Tip:  Use a tuna can to measure how much water you’ve applied with your sprinkler. Set out an empty tuna or cat food can, and water the area until the can is full.
  • Use the cycle soak method. Start this now while we still have reasonable soil moisture. 
  • Pro Tip:  Use the screwdriver method to check soil moisture depth. If you can easily push a large screwdriver into the soil, you’ve got good soil moisture.
3. Feed Your Plants and Lawn
  • Timing is everything when it comes to fertilizing. Best time? For lawns, when you are mowing at least every other week. For plants, when they begin to actively grow in Spring. 
  • Organic fertilizers like Medina Growin Green will feed the plants as well as the soil.  
  • Our own blend, Gill Food, has a fast feed, slow feed, and natural feed to help you get results above and below ground. We have a complete line of plant foods for everything from Bougainvillea to trees!
4. Take Care Of “Take-All Root Rot” 
  • TARR is a devil of a lawn disease & is spreading rapidly throughout the area. James Gill has seen a lot of yards recently that have it… and you do not want it.
  • Our best way to treat TARR is organically with Nature’s Blend Organic Compost or Peat Moss. Both of these will benefit your soil a lot while helping suppress the growth by changing the ph of the soil. Do this 3-4 times a year for best success. 
  • If needed, treat conventionally with Scotts Disease EX Lawn Fungicide or Fertilome Systemic Lawn Fungicide.
5. Get Rid of Weeds in Lawns
  • Best way to control weeds? Mow them down before they flower and produce seed. In flower beds, hoe-pull & mulch. 
  • Next best way…. for lawns, eliminate broad leaf weeds with Image or Ortho Weed-B-Gon for Southern Lawns once temps are above 70 but not above 85. 
  • Control growing weeds in beds naturally with new, OMRI-certified organic Ortho GroundClear Weed and Grass Killer or Horticultural Vinegar, treating only the weeds. Either of these will burn all plant foliage. 
  • Apply pre-emergent weed control to your lawn. We recommend Bonide Weed & Crabgrass Preventer or Weed Beater Complete. Ask our staff on how to use these for best success.
6. Bug-Prone Trees?
  • Drench with Fertilome Tree & Shrub Drench or Bayer Tree & Shrub Drench.
  • These are a systemic (absorbed into the plant through roots &/or foliage) type insecticide. So, they are applied around the trees’ base as they start growing in early Spring.  
  • It’s effective for over a 3-6month period. It controls various insects, like aphids, mealybugs and chomping insects including caterpillars, on trees like crape myrtles & hackberries. 
  • Helps with the black sooty mold on leaves from insect poop. No insects no poop no mold.
  • Note: If you are conscientious about pollinators & wildlife, this may not be for you.   

Check out our March Garden Guide for more tips!

-Debbie

8 Comments on “Top 6 Must Do’s for March!”

  1. I wish I had tomatos ands other vegetables, but I don’t. I blow the oak leaves off the deck and lawn and under my shrubs for a great moisture retaining, weed preventing mulch.

  2. Do you have anything that I can spray on Oak trees before cocoons & caterpillars start invading? These are from the moths. I’ve already seen some moths.

    Thank you
    IRENE S Amador

    1. Here is what I think is the safest method. Watch for caterpillar poop balls on concrete or decks, and when you first see them, spray trees in the evening with a Bacillus thuringiensis product. Come in to the nursery and they will fix you up. It will kill caterpillars that feed on the treated leaves, while not hurting you or birds feeding on the caterpillars, or cats, dogs, lizards, etc.

    1. If they are still actively feeding, you can spray Thuricide on the foliage, and when they get a bite, they can eat more and die. Advantage that Thuricide will not harm any other organism such as beneficial insects, lizards, birds, etc. But if they have stopped eating, and are moving to more protected areas to pupate, the best option is Spinosad.

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