What is that awful sound under my feet? There is a crunching sound beneath my shoes as I walk across what used to be my lawn and as I cross my scorched, by the sun not fire, pastures. We have been setting and breaking all the wrong records, the records for the most triple digit days and the most days without rainfall. These are not what we want or need. This has been a brutal year for gardening, I know, I am preaching to the choir, right? There has been some sound advice that we seem to forget in times like these. The old saying “that in Texas we are in a perpetual drought with occasional floods”. If we remembered that and planted accordingly and managed our ranches and farms with that philosophy, we would not have near the problems we are experiencing now.
This is a time to be rethinking our landscape plants and certainly going with native plants. Along with that is a need for water conservation and using soaker hoses and lots of mulch to maintain the moisture and keep the ground cooler.
According to Bob Rose, LaNina has faded and we are in a neutral zone with the possibility of LaNina returning, not good news, however, a really good tropical storm can make some dramatic changes. So, lets all pray for a really good tropical storm that brings no harm just a glorious rain of about 4-6 inches slow and easy.
There has been a terrible thing weather wise that has just taken place. The Oatmeal Festival and the first day of dove season have both come and gone and still no rain. Usually one or both produce rain each year even if it was just a little, this year not even a drop. However, we know that we are one day closer to the rain coming and when it does, be prepared for the “Gully washer”.
This is the month that we can start planting our Fall gardens. I already have my Fall tomatoes in and they are doing well. Check with your local garden centers and nurseries to see what Fall veggies they have on hand.
The end of the month and the first part of October is best to plant Wildflower seeds. Begin to think about where and what you are going to plant. Remember to go to Wild Seed Farm outside of Fredericksburg and see what all they have available. Their web site is www.wildseedfarms.com or call them for directions and hours 800-848-0078. You are in for a real treat.
September is a great time for dividing bulbs for your daylilies, bearded iris, Shasta daises, liriope, and cannas. This is a wonderful time to share these with family, friends and fellow gardeners (hint, hint).
Now is the time to prepare your caladium bulbs for next season. They need to be harvested after their tops die. They need to be dug up before the first freeze (we have some time). There will be more on this subject next month. This is just a notice of what is to come.
Lawn care is critical this time of year. They need to have an application of beneficial nematodes, and separately a soap spray for fungicide. Also later this month the lawns need to be fertilized. Next month we will apply corn gluten for the control of sticker burrs.
There is a more extensive list of duties in my book “Gardening in the Texas Hill Country”.
Some Results for New Product
As I promised last month, here are some of the results. First, I have sprayed my fruit trees and my live oak trees with wonderful results. They were really stressing out and now they are coming back with vigor. My two sons Will and Ward are using it on their lawns in Austin where they have major restrictions. They have found and will continue to notice that their lawns will be using much less water. I have used this product in transplanting and dividing plants with great results. The dividing process and being replanted in hanging baskets has stressed the plants, however, they are coming along remarkably well with a fast recovery.
The product name is “CowWow” and it is made from the poo of dairy cattle and is all natural. It is so good that both Travis County Parks and Recreation and Austin Parks and Recreation are using it with outstanding results. I found it through my friend Greg Eady in Georgetown. It is in liquid form and is available in sizes from quart to a 330 gallon tote for farmers and ranchers. For ranchers and farmers the cost of the product is as low as $37.00 per acre. It sure got my attention. Check out their web site WWW.CowWow.com . This is an affordable product that works. This is everything that a gardener wants in a product. The founder of this product is a really nice lady, Leslie Hearne. Have your garden center order you some.
Till Next Month! Keep your souls and your soles in your garden! Remember the True Master Gardener: Jesus said, “I am the vine; my Father is the Gardener.” John 15:1
Have questions or comments? Contact Bill Luedecke at The Luedecke Group Realtors, P.O. Box 1632, Bertram, TX. 78605 (no Post Office in Oatmeal) or email . For additional gardening web sites, go to his website; www.TexasLand.Net and click on links.