Nurseries and garden centers are starting to get supplies of flowering annuals. Take advantage of early sales, but wait until at least mid-March to plant them to avoid a possible late freeze. Warm weather bulbs such as caladiums should not be planted until early April as the soil warms. They can rot if the soil is too cool and moist.
There are different theories about how long winter hangs around. Some say we can have a freeze anytime up to Easter, which this year is April 1. Others say that the danger of a killing frost is past once the mesquite tree puts on new leaves. For King William area gardeners, one to watch is in the side garden at 735 E. Guenther St. Nothing is as unpredictable as the weather. Take note and plant accordingly.
- Bring birds to your garden to help control pests with a birdbath and feeder. Sunflower seeds seem to attract a wide variety and are available at the grocery store.
- Bare spots can appear in the lawn where we walk or pets run. Four or five inches of mulch spread over these areas make attractive paths.
- Warm weather weeds will soon be sprouting. An organic solution is to kill them with a spray of orange oil and vinegar. Mix 2 ounces of orange oil to a gallon of grocery store 9 % vinegar. A squirt of liquid dish soap will help it cling to the foliage. This mixture will kill whatever it gets on so protect nearby good plants with some kind of screen such as a piece of cardboard. A plastic spray bottle makes a good applicator. Orange oil is at most locally owned nurseries.
- If you have bluebonnets in your garden and want to be sure they reseed for next year, do not pull the plants until they are bloomed out and the plants turn brown. By that time seedpods will have popped open, scattering the seeds for next year.
- An easy way to control pill bugs and other similar insects is to sink small containers in the ground in flowerbeds so that the top is at ground level. A used plastic butter dish is good. Add an inch or two of beer as bait. The bugs will crawl in and drown.
Wisdom from Mark Twain: Education is what you must acquire without any interference from your schooling.
Garden Note: There is nothing quite like the resilience of a garden.