Friend offers fresh horse manure for spring garden


Q: Why should I sow my wildflower seeds in the fall instead of March? I set aside seeds from frozen lantana, turks caps, and salvia for wildlife habitat.

A: There are two answers here. “Wild grass” generally refers to native wild grass that blooms in spring. Generally speaking, it includes bluebonnets, Indian blankets, to some extent Indian paintbrushes (harder), and many other Texas native wildflowers that bloom from March to he May and he June. refers to To give it time to establish a good root system, it should be planted in the fall and allowed to grow through the fall and winter.

The plants you mentioned flower primarily in the summer, so they are planted in late winter or very early spring. In fact, it is better to plant them in pots and then transplant them.

As a general suggestion, consider planting seeds when nature blends them in. When bluebonnets finish blooming and plant seeds in May and June, the seeds quickly fall to the ground. By waiting until early autumn to sow seeds, we avoid the risk of being eaten by birds and insects. It also gives us the chance to catch the early autumn rain.

The plants you mentioned can be sown when the seeds fall off at the end of the growing season, but many seeds and seedlings are lost during winter. You may be wondering. I hope that was explained clearly.

And Neil Sperry: Adds privacy to your New Year’s landscape

This is the sapling of the column two weeks ago.

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Q: I am a retired horticulturist, landscape architect, and still a horticultural judge for the Garden Club of America. In a recent column, I was amazed at the answer to a question when I identified one tree as a red mulberry sapling. You will find that it is most likely Philodendron bipinnatifidum (now he is called Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum).

A: Thanks for pointing that out, but I’m 100% defending my identity. I had a neighbor with mulberry trees, and for decades I had to pull dozens of mulberry trees from my bed. I was also asked to identify perhaps 500 photographs of her in my 50 years of work either in person or through a Q&A column.

More than most other plant species, young mulberry leaves look very different from adult growth. I’ve included a 2 week old photo of him for comparison and a photo of myself (with a stone curb) taken a few years ago.

One young mulberry tree shows a large change in leaf shape.

One young mulberry tree shows a large change in leaf shape.

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Q: A friend provided me with horse manure from the stables. She says it has been dry for about 6 months.Can I use it in my garden this spring?

Hardy native perennial lantana blooms in the heat of summer.

Hardy native perennial lantana blooms in the heat of summer.

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A: Be careful. Turn with a shovel or spading fork. If it’s all completely dry and you can’t tell it’s manure, moderate use is fine (1 inch tillage to 6 inches deep).

However, it is doubtful whether it will become either in such a short time. The problem with “fresh” fertilizer is that the bacteria that break it down bind nitrogen in the soil. Your plants will starve and turn yellow and usually not be very productive for a season or two. , when stable fertilizer first became available, I knew I had a hard time.

If you have a way to turn it around every month or two when you put it in your compost pile and combine it with other forms of organic matter like grass and tree leaves cut in the fall, you’ll have great soil within 12 years. Will be an improver. Up to 18 months.

Q: My lawn turned brown due to very cold weather a few weeks ago. Can I scalp it now or should I wait until the end of winter?

A: I can certainly mow now to remove fallen leaves and flatten the brown grass, but as long as I lower the mower blade one notch to remove the brown stubble, I’ll wait.

Scalping exposes bare ground to sunlight. This allows it to absorb the warm rays of the sun on a sunny day, making your lawn green faster than it otherwise would have been. Especially if another cold snap hits, like February 2021, it’s not desirable to do it in the middle of winter.

Goldfinches visit Sperry feeders with black oil-type sunflower seeds.

Goldfinches visit Sperry feeders with black oil-type sunflower seeds.

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Q: I have a lot of grass-like plants growing under my bird feeder. How can I prevent it?

A: The easiest way is to switch to black oil type sunflower seeds. , consumed by birds that feed on the ground. Perhaps what you’re seeing is millet sprouting after being kicked out of the cheaper seed mix.

You can also place a layer of pine bark mulch on the ground under the feeder. Use a hoe to stir the mulch until the millet has sprouted. It kills young seedlings.


For questions about Neil Sperry, please email SAENgardenQA@sperrygardens.com.



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