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Spring Gardening Tips

SPRING GARDENING NEWS 2021

El Paso weather is up to its usual spring swing, 70’s  during the day and down to the 30’s at night.

Wide temperature ranges like this are hard on plant material and limit what survives here.  El Paso is considered high desert and is located in USDA ZONE 8A.  USDA zones are determined by low temperatures, and 8A lists the low of 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit.   Keep that zone in mind when your off to the nursery to pick up plant material.

February freeze damage. 

The late freeze we experienced in February caused a lot of damage.  Many of the plants had begun to come out of dormancy so their tender shoots were damaged.  We have seen a lot of damage on Palms, Oleander, Lantana, Bottle Brush, Elaeagnus, Ligustrum, Barrell cactus, Asparagus Ferns, TX Yellow Bell, to name just a few.  We suggest you prune back to below the dead dry plant material to the closest node.  A node is a small protuberance located on a stem that has an ‘eye’ shape.  There are plant cells in that node that will initiate a stem….thats what you look for.  The internet has pictures!!  Some things may have been killed entirely.  It would be best to wait until mid May to see what comes back before you decide to remove the plant entirely.

GARDEN CHORES

Right now is a good time to divide up your Iris, Cannas, Yarrow,  and Bulbine.  If you have bulbs in bloom wait until they are done blooming and begin to die back, that’s when you should divide them up.  If you have not pruned your roses you should prune them back before April 1.  Crape Myrtle bloom on new wood so they need to be tipped back to encourage blooming.  Seeding of annual flowers like Morning Glories, Nasturtiums, Marigold, Zinnias to name a few should be planted now.  Herbs like Cilantro, Chives, Sage, Lavender, Rosemary also should be planted in the next few weeks. 

WATERING

You should up your watering to two times per week.

Lawns

Bermuda lawns should be mowed very close to the ground to remove the dead grass.  This is called scalping.  The lawn should be mowed low ‘scalped’ once or twice to encourage new growth.  Be sure and raise the mower height after you do this chore.  Scalping is only appropriate for Bermuda grasses do not scalp Fescue or Saint Augustine.

Fescue should be mowed at 2.5 inch height right now and should have been fertilized in Jan or Feb. 

St Augustine should be mowed at about 2 inch height until all the frost damaged turf has grown out then raised to 2.5” height.

Deep raking to remove thatch as well as aeration should be considered.

INSECTS TO WATCH FOR AND TREAT

Aphids and Mites are already being seen in the field in high numbers.  Also Cochineal Scale on pad cactus has been very active and should be treated with a systemic insecticide.  Borer injections are on going this month into next as well as injections for Elm Leaf Beetle.

First lawn feeding of the season will begin approx April 15 2021.  Your lawn must be about 70% green to get the most benefit from the fertilization.  This first fertilization comes with a pre-emergent herbicide.  Pre emergent herbicide helps prevents weeds and weed seeds from growing.  It will also inhibit grass seed from growing so if your going to Re-Seed your lawn this spring you need to let us know in advance so we don’t apply it to your turf.  It is important to water the application as soon as possible after it is applied and don’t allow your children or pets on the turf until it has been watered in and is dry to the touch. 

In order to get the most out of the services we provide please follow our watering and mowing instructions.  We want you to have a great looking yard that you can be proud of and we can too.

All of our fertilizer applications are available without insecticide or herbicides.  You just need to ask several days in advance so we can schedule you properly.

As a reminder you can receive a one time $5.00 discount if you rate us on Google, Yelp, FB or YP.com.  Just let us know here in the office so we can verify and credit your account.

Happy Gardening and thank you for the confidence you place in our company!!

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The Growing Concern

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