March 2020 Newsletter

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LAWN CARE

The most common mistake consumers make is to fertilize too early in the season. Using Weed & Feeds in February or early March creates huge potential for brown patch disease and creates lush growth susceptible to late cold weather. It is best to separate fertilizer from weed control. We have two products that can be applied early. One is HI YIELD WEED CONTROL with DIMENSION. This product will reduce a number of weeds from germinating. Weeds such as crabgrass which is so hard to control once is gets established. The other is WEED FREE ZONE which is a concentrate that you spray in the lawn to kill existing broadleaf weeds. This combination will allow you to get an early start without promoting new growth. In late March of April you can apply LAWN FOOD PLUS IRON which will promote lush green growth at the time of year the lawn needs it. If there are particular weeds that give you a lot of problems bring them by in a zip lock bag. We will ID them and make sure you are using the correct products.

VEGETABLE GARDENING

The gardeners are out in mass and you should at least be preparing the soil at this point. Many people have gotten an early start by planting in February. The gardeners with small gardens can get an early start. You may have to protect them once or twice from cold but the heat that seems to come earlier now gives the plants trouble because of stress, insects, and disease. Before planting add a slow release fertilizer that is high in phosphorus. Phosphorus promotes root and flower development, therefore making more veggies. The product we recommend is FERTILOME TOMATO AND VEGETABLE FOOD 7-228. This product is slow release, has micronutrients, and promotes great flowering.

When selecting your plant varieties be sure the varieties are for South Louisiana. We purchase our plants, as well as our seeds, based on LSU’s recommended variety list. Variety is so important for the vegetable gardener. The gardener can do everything correctly. Selecting the perfect location, the best soil and fertilizer, and the best insecticides. However, if it is the wrong variety that will limit your production.

Full sun is critical for the vegetables. Minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight is necessary for any production. The point is to choose your site carefully when choosing site your vegetables.

Prevention is the best cure for insect and fungus problems. Two products that are great for prevention.

One is a SYSTEMIC INSECT DRENCH that is labeled for vegetables and is applied at time of planting. The other is COPPER SOAP FUNGICIDE that is sprayed weekly from the time of planting. Both of these products do a great job reducing the quantity of insects and disease in the garden.

If you have not planted your sweet corn or Irish potatoes you will want to do that as soon as possible. Both of these germinate in a cool soil and is best to get an early start.

ROSE CARE

Now is a great time to get your roses planted. Roses prefer full sun and good drainage. Some of the improved shrub rose varieties do not need as much spraying but because of wet moisture weather patterns I believe spraying for fungus helps. We have a great selection of all types such as tea, climbers, drift, and shrub roses.

If you have existing roses in the ground it would have been a good idea to prune back in February. If they need to be cut back because they are too leggy then do so now. I will delay blooming but your plant will be more compact. If you have not fertilized yet do so now. We have several different types. Some only ROSE FOOD, some ROSE FOOD with INSECTICIDE, and some ROSE FOOD with INSECTICIDE, FUNGICIDE, and MITICIDE. Ask sales staff about the one that best for your roses.

AZALEAS

Never cut back your azaleas till after they bloom. Pruning in late summer, fall, or winter will eliminate your blooms till next year. After blooming you can prune your azaleas and then fertilize.

When planting your azaleas it is essential that the soil is well drained. Azaleas need lots of water but they must dry out between watering’s. Also, because they are shallowed rooted there roots should be continually mulched. This is especially true for azaleas in full sun, newly planted azaleas, and dwarf azaleas.

FRUIT TREES

Now is the time to fertilize your trees such as citrus, pecans, pears, peaches, plums, figs, etc. Never fertilize when soil is very dry or when trees are in heavy bloom. A great safe fertilizer that does not need to be buried is FERTILOME FRUIT & CITRUS FOOD. It is slow release and has all the micronutrients you need.

TREES & SHRUBS

Now is a great time to fertilize your established trees and shrubs. We have a great fertilizer called FERTILOME TREE & SHRUB GRANULES. It is a slow release, has micronutrients, and the best part is that it does not need to be buried. Much more efficient than fertilizer stakes and more economical.

FLOWERING BEDDING PLANTS

Everyone is ready to get started on planting there yard color. You want to be careful and not start too early with some types of plants. Plants such as salvia, coleus, vinca, purslane, angelonia, pentas, zinnias, marigolds, sweet potato vines and caladiums are easily damaged by cold weather. However, there are some plants that getting an early start is beneficial. These are petunias, million bells, geraniums, dahlias, dianthus, alyssum, and lobellias. These can take any future cold weather we will get and by rooting early they will handle the heat much better. Apply FERTILOME BEDDING PLANT FOOD to ground at time of planting. This is slow release and is high in phosphorus which promote abundant flowering.

ISSUES IN LANDSCAPE

People are in there landscape beds weeding and adding mulch. Be sure before you apply new mulch to apply a layer of WEED PREVENTOR GRANULES with DIMENSION. This will help prevent future weed seeds from sprouting. Also, when applying your mulch be sure to make it thick in the areas that seem to give you the most trouble with weeds. A layer 3” to 4” thick of mulch and the DIMENSION will greatly reduce those pesky weeds this summer.

The lawns have been having a large amount of dollar weed. The reason is that it loves moisture and we have had our share of that over the past 6 months. Take care of those in the lawn now with FERTLOME DOLLAR WEED CONTROL GRANULES or spraying with FERTILOME WEED FREE ZONE. Both can be applied now and do a great job. If you are not sure of the weed you have just bring us a sample in a zip lock bag so we can ID it for you.

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