Garden Thyme

The Growers Outlet prides itself in having the best quality locally grown plants and great service in the Lake Conroe area. For the past 18 years, our customers have come to depend on us for solutions to their landscape and lawn problems. We routinely get a dozen questions per day from customers on the appropriate care of their lawn and landscape investment. We have noticed over the years that most of the questions have been the same and the solutions are the same as well. It is not uncommon to have a frustrated customer come to us that is sick and tired of spending their hard-earned money on plants and fertilizers only to wind up with an unhealthy lawn and landscape plants.

All the problems had the same common denominator, POOR SOIL. In most cases, homeowners address their poor soil problems by spending endless amounts of money on insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers only to have their problems go un-corrected. Our industry has seen a pretty dramatic transition from the traditional use of synthetic chemicals for fertilization, pest and disease control to organic solutions for the same. We are doing a 360 and are getting back to our roots when it comes to solutions for our lawn and landscape problems.

Our ancestors used what little they had to make their plants grow before our country discovered quick fix chemical solutions. The synthetic fertilizer and pesticide industry all started after World War II when unused munitions factories were transformed into fertilizer and pesticide factories. This new industry gave us easy to apply, cheap, clean smelling fertilizers and highly effective pesticides. After the War, our country’s new prosperity fueled rapid growth of new housing which included sculpted lawns and landscaping. Due to the pride of keeping up a nice home or peer pressure, the lawn and plant care industry grew. Corporate America discovered that money could be made making products that will make lawns and landscape appealing to the eye. At the same time, it appears they created a dependency on their products.

Over the years, of seeing people battle lawn and landscape plant problems while using the old approach, we have figured out the best solution to solve most of these issues. Without getting into the science, it is a simple fact that the old approach, using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides will not give you a healthy lawn, just a temporary good looking one that will not resist damage caused by heat stress, insects and diseases, very well.

Most of our landscape problems stem back to when your house was built. To accommodate your building slab, most builders had to grade away any healthy soil that was there and replace it with a sandy clay soil with high compaction properties. THIS SOIL WILL NOT SUPPORT GOOD PLANT GROWTH in its current state.

Applying synthetic fertilizers will green up your lawn. It is easy to have a green lawn in the spring when there is no stress from heat and drought. However, where the rubber meets the road is when we hit July and dead patches start showing up. These dead patches can always be explained. If they are caused by insects we can spray to kill them. Most diseases, but not all, can be remedied by chemicals. These solutions have only proven to be a temporary fix with the root cause being traced back to unhealthy turf grass, caused by unhealthy soil.

The ROOT cause is poor soil structure. Short of stripping up all your grass and replacing the soil with good soil or waiting a thousand years, the other solution is to amend the soil you have. These amendments should include things that will add to and stimulate the beneficial microbes in your soil. These little critters in the right numbers will speed up that thousand-year process dramatically, by 995 years or less. Usually in as little as 2 or 3 years you can get your soil to support healthy turf grass by using our Organic Soil Nutrition Program.

This program is not proprietary. Many of the products can be substituted but we think the ones we have put together are the best to achieve your goal of a healthy lawn and landscape that will give you more time to enjoy it and more money in your pocket with the savings from your reduced water bill.

Come by the Growers Outlet and we will show you our proven program for a better looking and more trouble free lawn and landscape.

A Garden To Do List for the month of March for our area will include the following:

*Feed azaleas and camellias, once they are finished blooming with the organic Microlife Azalea Food or Nitro Phos Azalea Camellia Food.

*Once your azaleas finished blooming prune back not more than one third.

*If you haven’t already done so, fertilize your roses with Microlife organic Ultimate plant food, Nelson’s Color Star or Nitro Phos Rose Food.

*Any of your roses that are prone to black spot should be treated on a bi-monthly basis with a product like Bonide Infuse. Don’t wait until the black spot occurs before treating!

*If you haven’t already done so, now would be the time to re-mulch your trees and shrubs with a good quality mulch like Landscapers Pride Black Velvet mulch or pine bark mulch.

*March is a good time to buy and plant your vegetable garden plants. Don’t wait too late into April.

*If you have pecan trees and didn’t feed them in February you can still feed them in March. Be sure to use a product like Nitro Phos Pecan and Citrus Food that contains zinc.

*You can control caterpillars that defoliate trees by treating all new leaves with BT.

*It is still not too late to use a product like Nitro Phos Barricade, a pre-emergent herbicide to treat your lawn to prevent weed seed that has not germinated yet.

*For weeds that are growing use Bonide Weed Beater Ultra.

*If you haven’t already done so you should fertilize your lawn with MicroLife 6-2-4 general-purpose fertilizer, Nitro Phos Imperial lawn fertilizer or Nitro Phos Sweet Green before the end of March.

*Rake and top-dress any bare spots in your lawn with leaf mold compost.

*Cut back and pinch all your perennials and fertilize them.

*During periods of cloudy damp weather be sure and spray your shrubs, especially roses, to prevent fungal diseases like black spot.

*This is a great month to spray for Virginia Buttonweed.

*Use a systemic insecticide on your crape myrtles to prevent aphids.

For great gardening products and information, come by the Growers Outlet and visit with any member of our team to get the help you need or go to our website at www.growersoutletinwillis.com. We have the products and knowledge to help you have the prettiest yard on the block.