Resilient Sago Palms:
Remember when we had those 10-15 degree days last Winter and we were so concerned about our Sago Palms? Patty and I have two in front of our office in Bertram. Then came Spring and the Palms were all brown and completely dead looking and we were thinking "Holy Cow" they will never recover from this harsh Winter. Well if you have any of these you noticed in the last few weeks that they have been pushing out all the new leaves. All we had to do is remove all the dead leaves and wait. Now that they are consuming energy replacing all the dead, we need to feed them with any good Organic fertilizer. Now we can all relax and watch the new leaves unfold. WARNING: This new growth is very tender and apparently very tempting to our Whitetail Deer population. Patty and Roy Moore in Burnet had the front of one of her Sago Palms eaten off by their deer population, bunnies like this as well.
Wow! It is already Summer and the weather is certainly responding to the call of the season. Bad news is we are beginning our extreme weather. Good news is now we can grow those wonderful mouth watering tomatoes and all those veggies that we miss during other parts of the year. The berry crop has certainly been going well. I have been purchasing mine at the Farmers Market just on the Westside of the square in Burnet on Saturday mornings. Mary Wood has some of the best; they are great for smoothies, in your protein shakes for breakfast, cereals, in pies and cobblers. Can you tell I am hungry for the fresh fruit that is available this time of year?
Are you mulching your vegetation? Our plants, shrubs and trees need at least 3-4 inches of mulch this time of year. Warning: Don’t allow the mulch to touch the base of the plants as it can cause a disease problem. Mulch not only helps maintain the moisture in the soil but it keeps the plants cooler in this heat and the real heat to come in August. What type of mulch is best? Well that is really a personal preference. I prefer Ashe Juniper (Cedar) for mulch as I have plenty of it, bugs don’t particularly like it, it stays in place and it gives me an excuse to remove Ashe Juniper from my place.
Watering is so very important as most of us did not continue to get the rains that Mason (7 inches last week) and others did. When watering always water below the plant at ground level including veggies and tomatoes. By watering this way you will not interfere with the pollination of the plant by washing away the pollen (blooming and setting of the veggies). Watering time is best early morning or in the evening, never in the heat of the day.
As our plants enter this stressful time of heat and producing fruit we need to fertilize. We can do that by side dressing the plants with fish emulsion, seaweed extract and our ever-dependable compost tea (liquid humate). Products that promote this are John’s Formula, Medina Plus, Lady Bug products all are available at your favorite gardening center if they are not available ask for them.
Pinch back (dead head) blooms: Chrysanthemums, Mexican Marigolds, Geraniums, and the like. This action promotes more blooming and keeps your plants looking pretty for the neighbors to envy.
Start cutting your lawns higher throughout the Summer as it promotes deeper root system for the grass and it will be healthier and use less water. Bermuda grass should be cut around one inch, Buffalo grass two and half inches, St. Augustine three inches and Zoysia approximately one inch. The turf experts recommend these levels of grass heights. Warning: Never cut more than one third of the grass at one time.
Do you all have weeds in the driveway or patio? Use a mixture of equal parts vegetable oil and water and spray on the weeds in the hottest part of the day. The heat and the oil will fry the weeds.
If you have tougher weeds then mix a gallon of twenty (20) percent white vinegar with two ounces of orange oil. Warning: This will kill whatever you spray with it. If you don’t like to mix stuff then purchase Gardenville Weed Killer it is basically the same thing. Use it straight from the container.
Any applications for weed spraying is more effective if the weeds are cut first. The weeds absorb more readily.
This Summer’s Weather:
Well the weather has certainly changed from our longer than usual Spring. Bob Rose our weather guru and usually right on (unusual for weather folks) says that El Nino has waned (gone bye bye) and the Pacific is now in transition to a neutral state. In reality, large patches of cooler than normal water are already showing up in the Pacific and many forecasters are believe we could see a weak La Nina (prayerfully a weak one) develop by July. He expects to us to see around 20 days of 100 degree days. Further he states that we will see rain from time to time, but totals will be below normal. There is one wild-card and that is the tropical weather season. This year it is shaping up to be real active.
For those of you who are new to Texas and The Texas Hill Country, the terms normal and usual, as it applies to weather, has yet to be defined.
Till Next Month!
Keep your souls and your soles in your garden!
Remember the True Master Gardener: Jesus said, "I am the vine; my Father is the Gardener." John 15:1
Have questions or comments? Contact Bill Luedecke at The Luedecke Group Realtors, P.O. Box 1632, Bertram, TX. 78605 (no Post Office in Oatmeal) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional gardening web sites, go to his web site; www.TexasLand.Net and click on links.