The Dirt on Hill Country Gardening: Spring Is Just around the Corner!
by LindaAndDavid in General / 02.18.09
by David Steinbrunner & Linda Tarrant
Time to start looking forward to spring! Those who want to create a new bed, it is time to make a plan, mark off the area, draw the plan to scale, put your plants on the plan with their eventual size shown, and then start getting the beds ready.
Those who want to change or enhance existing beds should follow the same process, showing existing plants on the plan, and penciling in planned plants.
To prepare the areas for spring planting, now is the time to add Medina Soil Activator and agricultural molasses to loosen up existing soils, feed and stimulate the soil organisms, and generally enriches your soil. Compost can be added as a top dressing or forked into the soil. The top dressing will end up getting turned under as you plant your spring plants. The top dressing holds water and leeches a compost tea into the soil subsurface, making it richer.
If your plan includes some transplanting, now is the best time to do it. Yesterday was better, and tomorrow will not be quite as good. The more time a plant has to acclimate after transplanting before it goes into an active growing period, the better.
This is a good time to spread your corn gluten meal as a pre-emergent to keep those pesky weeds from sprouting from seed, but you will need to water this in after spreading or wait for a bit rain..
Spend the rest of your planning time deciding what to plant where, and this can be done with catalogs, local nurserymen, books, and all over the Internet…the fun part. We heartily recommend Dave’s Garden. He started this site while living in Central Texas, and it has grown by leaps and volumes. Time spent planning and preparing is your most important time. Your ultimate plan will be realized in a few short months or years, but it takes
Plant of the Week
Myoporum (Myoporum parvofolium) is an excellent groundcover that is everygreen, drought resistant, and deer resistant. It attracts butterflies when in bloom, and it creates a dense cover that discourages weeds. It can handle full sun to partial shade, and it doesn’t mind our alkaline water. The white bloom is about 1⁄2″ across, and it is a profuse bloomer. There is a dwarf variety that has pink flowers. In a horrendously cold winter, this can freeze, but we haven’t had such a freezing spell in years.
Chores for this week
- Spread a pre-emergent, such as corn gluten meal to keep weed seed from sprouting in early spring.
- Plant more trees.
- Transplant anything that you want to move.
- Prune trees and use a mixture of wood glue and water to paint on all open cuts.
- Plan your new or modified beds for spring.
- Use soil conditioners and molasses and compost on planned bed areas.
- Mulch, mulch, mulch, and mulch some more.
We encourage your questions, comments, or your own “Personal Plant of the Week” by writing David.
David Steinbrunner, moved to the Texas Hill Country in 1998 from the Fort Worth area, and currently owns and operates the Steinbrunner Landscaping Company and Guadalupe River Gardens. David graduated from Texas A&M University in 1979 with a degree in horticulture and has over 25 years of experience in the landscaping busines.
*Don’t really have space for a garden? Several MindBiters have had great success with the Square Foot Garden. Give it a try!