March 2017 Landscape News

March 2017 Landscape News
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Asian Jasmine
Question of the Month:  ”I have heard that it is OK to “top” my Asian Jasmine.  Is this true?”

 

Great question and the answer is a resounding “Yes”.  After jasmine has gotten over 9-10″ in height, it is very beneficial to top it.  Also, even though it was a mild winter, we did have days that dropped below freezing causing top growth die-back.  In both cases trim it back with either a line trimmer or even mow it (if your mower deck will raise this high).  If you do use any equipment to trim the jasmine back, make sure that you flag your sprinkler heads so as to not cause further problems and damage.  Do not worry if the plant looks as though it’s nothing but twigs.  They will quickly flush back out.  Do this in March or early April to allow them to thicken up and produce more leaves during the active growing part of the season.
Plant of the Month:  German Iris
It won’t be long before our beloved iris will start blooming.  With the crazy back and forth cold/warm weather, our pretty iris friends are quite sure when to appear; however, they will indeed be here!  These tough plants stay green through the cold winters as well as hot summers then pop out those colorful blooms in spring.  Although the bloom cycle is short lived (several weeks rather than months) the iris is a welcome addition to any landscape especially those looking to conserve water.  Iris come in many colors and combinations.  There are also tall varieties as well as short and these plants will last for YEARS in the landscape.  They can be divided as they spread and can be shared.
March To Do List
  • Final cutbacks and/or rejuvenation pruning (see article on Asian Jasmine)
  • Spring Seasonal Color is becoming available.  Choose right plants to meet your landscape environment (shade or sun)
  • Add mulch to any bare areas of soil.
  • Perfect time to begin rejuvenating your turf by aerating and adding compost or topsoil.  A great treatment for your turf.
  • Make sure your irrigation is ready to go.  Spring rains are the best, but summer drought isn’t.
  • Great time to seed Bermuda or lay solid sod (Zoysia, St. Augustine or Bermuda)
Did you know……..

 

There is a super informative web site with lots and lots of information about plants for low water use in landscapes?   www.wildflower.org (produced by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center) has information on plants as well as wildflowers.  There is also a question/answer section called “Ask Mr. Smarty Plants”.

 

Also, what a great time to start visiting your local Arboretums and Botanical Gardens.  A great weekend trip, especially with the current beautiful weather we are experiencing now.  Great day trips can include trips to:
  • Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in Dallas, Texas
  • East Texas Arboretum in Athens, Texas
  • D.A. “Andy” Anderson Arboretum (formerly called the Brazos County Arboretum) in College Station, Texas
  • Houston Arboretum and Nature Center in Houston, Texas
  • Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens in Humble, Texas
  • San Antonio Botanical Garden in San Antonio, Texas
  • Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin, Texas

These are just a few of the many locations through out the state. Great places to get your fill of all the wonderful plant life out there.

Blue Alert!

Not to take away from the seriousness of our Alert Systems (Amber & Silver Alerts), but have you noticed the emerging of our friendly blue Texas flowers?  Just recently I noticed the emergence of these friendly blue plants on some of the main highways throughout the state.  The seeds of the bluebonnets are sown in the fall and lie “sleeping” until adequate temperatures and rains cause them to germinate.  Fortunately many retail garden centers also sell these plants in 4″ and 6″ pots for those who are looking to take the short cut to getting them growing.  What a beautiful flower we have to admire and take photographs of.  After all, who can’t resist taking a picture of a friend, spouse, child or pet in a blooming patch of Texas Bluebonnets?  Happy Spring to All!

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