Soil|Daphne Richards|Central Texas Gardener
- Why do we firm the soil around new plants? And if firming the soil is good, why are we not supposed to walk through our garden beds?
- Agarita, Mahonia trifoliolata, aka Berberis trifoliolata
To Do in Your Garden
FERTILIZE: Fertilize strawberry beds with a 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer. Keep soil moist to promote good plant vigor and berry production next spring.
WATER: Water everything well before a freeze, but avoid overwatering.
TRANSPLANT: Divide and replant crowded perennials throughout the winter months. Transplant chives, garlic and multiplying onions. Now is the best time to move woody ornamentals. Prepare the new site before transplanting.
PREPARE SOIL: Have landscape and garden soils tested now to determine soil balancing needs. Forms are available at the Extension Office, 1600-B Smith Road, Austin, TX, 78721 or call 512-854-9600. Check winter mulch and replenish if needed. Stockpile leaves for mulch and composting throughout spring and summer.
LAWN CARE: Bring a sample of problem turf into the Travis County AgriLife Extension Office in a labeled plastic bag for analysis. A mulching mower makes raking leaves obsolete or use grass catcher as a mulch catcher. Use shredded leaves and grass clippings as a mulch or put into the compost bin.
DISEASES / PESTS TO LOOK FOR: Watch roots of removed annuals for nematodes (knots on the roots). Check houseplants for spider mites, scale and mealy bugs.
PRUNE: After blooming, chrysanthemums should be cut back almost to the ground. Prune long, gangly shoots on shrubs. Remove dead and damaged wood from shrubs and trees.